Thanksgiving is almost here. Ugh. I know a lot of people love this holiday but there are more of us who dread it.
We dread the family members who make comments about our clothes, our new tattoo, our politics. Who make snide remarks about our sexuality or gender identity.
We dread the feeling of being uncomfortable for hours on end.
We dread having to pretend to be someone we’re not.
There’s a lot of good things about the holidays particularly if you have a family that accepts you and supports you.
BUT for those of us who struggle with these primary relationships, the holidays can be a hotbed of feelings that send us down the rabbit hole. Yucky feelings. Sad feelings. Maybe even anger.
So how do you get through the holidays? Here’s some ideas:
First, remember that experiencing a ton of different feelings while you’re there, is expected. Understanding beforehand that you’ll be riding the emotional rollercoaster is a good way to not freak out. Give yourself a pep talk before you walk in that you’ll get through it!
Second, is there a friend or special person you can bring to the event? Their presence can be a calming influence for you while also providing a buffer if needed. Just make sure they know what they’re getting into!
Third, are there family members who are less toxic? You cab hang out with them more than say your nasty uncle who likes to bring up Trump every 5 minutes. Avoidance is a coping skill because it works (short-term of course) so during these short experiences, use it to your advantage.
Lastly, if you need to, don’t go. I’d ask you that if your family is particularly toxic and damaging to your mental health, is there a way you can skip it all together? If you’ve never done that before, this may seem crazy!
I think now more than ever, it might be time for all of us to better protect ourselves. Protect our hearts and our sanity so this year might be the first year that you put yourself first. No one will ever take care of you as well as you can take care of yourself and there’s no better time to start this than now!
If you’re struggling during this holiday season like a lot of us, we are here for you! No one understands better how hard this can be and we’d love to help you work through it … we got you! You can schedule an appointment now with one of our rock star therapists by clicking here. See you soon!