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Quick Hacks to Surviving Family Time During the Holidays

Hurray! It's the holidays.........

If you're like many adults (especially Millennials), the Holidays can be less of a magical, joy-filled celebration of love and more of a 6 week torture chamber of judgement, disappointment, and family interactions that will cost you a lot in the therapists office. If you're in the latter group, here's some tips to getting through the Holidays with your psyche in tack.

  1. Center Yourself: Before embarking on a 4 hour dinner with Aunt Marge who is FOR SURE going to ask you about that relationship that ended 3 weeks ago, spend some time in meditation to both relax your mind and body and tackle the negative thought patterns you might be nursing.

  2. Remember Your Triggers are YOURS to Manage (Not Theirs to Avoid): If you want true happiness and peace from weird comments this Holiday Season, the answer is not telling everyone to never comment on anything in your life (though it COULD be skipping a family gathering...). Only YOU are in control of your response to comments, criticisms, and side-long glances. Asking everyone to tiptoe around your hot-buttons is a sure fire way to make yourself the object of more criticism. Learn what sets you off and do the work to love on yourself in those areas and dig through the stories you're telling yourself (remember, most of the stories we make up about things we fear are the REAL problem, not the actual thing).

  3. Spend Time Learning the Inner-Workings of Your Nemeses: So Cousin Mildred just sets you off EVERY. TIME. What I'm guessing is that she either 1. doesn't know it or 2. is triggered herself. Remember, family gatherings and the Holidays IN PARTICULAR are hard for EVERYONE. You're not the only one feeling the pressure to be happy, successful, and holly jolly. Everyone does and it's exhausting. If you spend sometime really looking at the person who you're struggling with and learn what THEY are struggling with, you'll realize their less-than-optimal comments come from a place of hurt and triggering too.

  4. Remember Mary Poppins: Just a Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down: Bribe. That's what I mean. Bribe yourself with truly nourishing things for yourself in honor of you MAKING IT through something hard. Giving yourself something to look forward to will help the whole thing go down a little better. If you're in control of this sort of thing, try to limit your interactions for small doses. Nothing like an 8 hour marathon with the fam to wear down anyone's limits.

If you need a reminder on triggers and things to look out for with the people you struggle with the most, see the list below. If you want to avoid REALLLY big blowouts, avoid these for each Type:

Type 1 Triggers: Accused of being bad and incompetent.

Type 2 Triggers: Accused of being selfish and needy. Feeling unwanted.

Type 3 Triggers: Accused of being a failure and incompetent. Feeling unimportant.

Type 4 Triggers: Accused of being inauthentic, plain, or mundane. Feeling envious.

Type 5 Triggers: Accused of being incompetent. Feeling overwhelmed and imposed upon.

Type 6 Triggers: Accused of being dishonest, ingenuine. Feeling like others are are dishonest of disloyal.

Type 7 Triggers: Accused of being too silly. Feeling trapped, dismissed, limited.

Type 8 Triggers: Being blindsided or betrayed (gossiped about). Feeling manipulated.

Type 9 Triggers: Being overlooked and taken advantaged of. Feeling forced into conflict.


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