Ahh, the holidays. That beautiful time of year when overeating is a sport, you’re pressured to explain your life choices to people you never see, and family drama comes at you faster than you can say, "pass the potatoes". If you find you're a bit nervous about heading home this holiday season, here are a few tips to help you keep calm.
1. Stay Grounded in Who You are Now
Ever notice when you spend time with family or old friends you transform into the little kid version of yourself? To combat this, bring items that are reminders of your current and best self. This can be your morning tea, favorite outfit, or even your pillow. These things keep you comfortable and serve as a reminder to react to situations as your adult self.
Also, take mini breaks before social situations to breathe and set the intention of how you want to show up. It’s easy to go on auto pilot in familiar situations, so a little grounding ritual can make a huge difference.
2. Set Realistic Expectations
For many, holidays are NOT vacations. This can be tricky to digest because it looks like a party, smells like a party, but may actually be way more stressful than an average work day. Take an honest look at the history of these gatherings and set your bar accordingly. It can be sad to think of “getting through” a day that is supposed to be joyous, but this honesty can help you prepare and reduce disappointment later on.
3. Get Prepared to Talk About Your Life
You know they are going to ask. Are you dating anyone? Did you get that promotion? When are you starting a family? Remember, there are many ways to present the same information. Have a quick reply like, “It’s still in progress” ready for times you don’t want to engage and steer the conversation to something you’re more comfortable speaking about like an upcoming trip or interesting article you read. Some people are simply making conversation, some are looking for gossip, and some are genuinely concerned. Regardless it’s up to you what you share.
While the holidays come with a varying degree of stress, a little preparation can make things way more enjoyable. Take a breath, grab your pumpkin latte, and take on the holiday season like a champion. You can do this.
And if you know anyone else who’s stressing about going home, give this a share. They’ll thank you for it!
Dr. Lynn Saladino
I am a New Yorker, clinical psychologist, fitness and food lover, and a woman on a quest to bring a REAL spin to finding balance in hectic lives. As my clients know, there isn't much I won't say whether it be about sex, relationships, crappy bosses, or "strange" eating habits. The goal of this blog is to share what I'm learning from my unique position as a helper of hundreds to bring you a greater sense of understanding and calm.
Lynn Saladino, Psy.D.
Dr. Lynn Psychology, PLLC
Clinical Psychologist and Coach
All rights reserved © 2015 Dr. Lynn Saladino
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