Who ever said that the holidays were a stress-free time of year had no idea what he was talking about. Most of the people I know feel a lot of stress during the holiday season, with most if due to family. Here are some helpful hints to deal with the stress and help to minimize its affects on you.
- Try to limit the stress by limiting the amount of time spent in a large grouping of family. While the family is an important reason for the season, so not jeopardize your health or sanity by spending more time than you are comfortable with spending in their midst.
- Think happy thought before going to the family event. By going in feeling good about seeing the family rather than feeling anxious about the family, you can limit your stress and may even have fun.
- Do not drink in excess. Having one or two drinks with the family is a great way to unwind. However, drinking to excess will quickly cause you to lose your temper or it may open you up to snide remarks from the family. Either way, it is not appropriate behavior for a family function.
- Take everything with a grain of salt. The family most often does not mean to sound condescending or short. Instead, assume that they meant everything thing that is said in the best possible way. This is especially true if there is any discussion about the lack of a significant other or any conversation about jobs.
- Avoid any discussion about religion, politics or sex. Avoid this like it is the plague. There is no way for these conversations to end without someone feeling hurt or upset. If they start talking about any of these topics, excuse yourself and avoid the conversation. Dodge all questions.
- If your family really is too much for you to handle, even in smaller doses, excuse yourself from the holidays. Yeah, they may be hurt, but it is better than risking your sanity. Especially if your family is a more abusive family, which unfortunately happens. See them individually if you want, but remember that you are under no obligation to attend the festivities if it really makes you uncomfortable.