The woman sat in her car. I don’t want to go to walk into my parents’ house. I don’t want to answer questions about my divorce.
She reached into her purse, took out her compact mirror, and let out a sigh. Tears formed in her eyes as she thought about being hammered with question after question. The dark circles under her eyes were the result of a lack of sleep. She gripped the steering wheel hard, her knuckles turning white. She took several deep breaths.
Maybe this year it won’t be so bad. After all, I’m an adult who’s capable of making her own decisions.
It’s supposed to be the time of the year of “goodwill and peace toward all.” However, most people would rather skip the holidays and go straight to January 1st.
While the holidays are a joy for some, for others they add more stress to their lives.
Remember, you can only control you. You can choose to enjoy the holidays or suffer through them. It’s possible to get through the holiday season with a smile on your face. Read on to find out how to break free from the pain of the holidays.
Holiday Stress: How to Break Free from the Pain of the Holidays
Visualize yourself enjoying the holidays
If the thought of spending the holidays with your family stresses you out, spend 10 to 15 minutes visualizing yourself having a good time. For example, if you’re going to your parents or in-laws home for dinner, see everyone having a great time and getting along. Maybe there’s music playing. Picture everyone opening their gifts and enjoying themselves. Feel the love that surrounds you and your family.
Notice who or what triggers you
Knowing who or what triggers you can help you break free from the pain of the holidays www.psychcentral.com/holidays. For example, if you and your mother don’t get along, think about how she triggers you. Journal your thoughts and look for repeating patterns. You can heal these by choosing to let them go and realizing that your mother doesn’t mean to hurt you. She just doesn’t know any better. If you spoke with her, you may discover that she was criticized by her mother. You can break the cycle by healing your relationship, even if this means limiting the amount of time you spend with your mother. Remember, you can love people from a distance.
Speak up for yourself
Sometimes, you need to stand up for yourself. While you may be tempted to use a few choice words, you can speak up for yourself in a loving and gentle manner. It’s not okay for people to cross your boundaries. Gently tell them that you will not be treated with disrespect and if they continue to do so, you won’t spend the holidays with them.
Don’t take the holidays seriously
There are 365 days in a year and the holidays represent a small percentage of them. Don’t go crazy with gift giving or cooking. You may find that having a pot luck dinner is more fun. This way the people closest to you can show off their culinary skills or at least buy their favorite foods and share them with everyone.
It’s possible to break free from the pain of the holidays. Life is too short to live it stressed out, especially when the holidays come once a year. Today, make a commitment to yourself to enjoy the holidays. Give your permission to relax. Don’t think for a minute that you have to please everyone. It’s not your job.
Written by: Amandah T Blackwell, Savvy-Writer
About the Author:
Having worked both in the client side and agency world, Amandah is well versed in blog, content and copywriting along with SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing) and social media practices. She has produced successful results for clients ranging from The Huffington Post to local businesses and non-profits. Amandah is proficient in research, writing and interviewing; blog platforms, videos (includes scripting) and GIFs, as well as multimedia programs, such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. She is detail-oriented, organized and has a keen ability for time management and can manage several projects at once.