Discover tips on surviving Christmas with family.

Posted December 8, 2018 Mental Well-being, Self-Care

How to Survive the Holiday Season

The holiday season can be an enjoyable time to spend with family but it can also be stressful for many people. The good news is, the following strategies can help you survive the holiday season and help you make it the best one yet.

Plan Ahead

Spend some time thinking about what situations and which people are likely to trigger a negative emotional response from you. If you cannot avoid these situations or people, have a plan of how you will deal with these emotions.

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You could try to:

  • Be active

If you’re a member of a gym/health club, check the opening times over the holidays and use it.  Even just going for a walk can give you an emotional break and help ease your nerves. This also has the added bonus of physically removing yourself from the situation.

If you have already set some goals for yourself, pick some easy goals that you can achieve over the holiday season. Being constructive will enhance your mood and keep your emotions focused on your goals.

If you haven’t set any yet, this is the perfect time to think about setting some.

  • Phone a friend

Get some moral support by phoning a friend. If you have a friend who will be alone during the holiday season, this could also be an opportunity to invite them to share it with you. This has the added bonus of always having moral support on hand and family will be less likely to misbehave around company.

  • Take some slow deep breaths to calm yourself

Close your eyes, imagine you are in your favourite place and take some deep breaths. Do this for as long as you need, to regain your composure. If you need to find a corner to do this, have a prepared place in mind so you don’t have to think about where to go if the need arises. If there really is no place you can hide for 5 minutes you can always take a bathroom break!

  • Change the conversation

Value your mental health more than your pride. If someone is trying to wind you up, try not to respond emotionally, as this will only feed the exchange. Move on to either another topic or to another conversation partner.

  • Let go of the past

This can be an extremely hard thing to do. However, there is nothing you can do about the past, it has already happened and cannot be changed. You can either let it torment you and continue to bring negativity into your life or let it go and move forward with your life.

  • Treat yourself

Have something arranged to look forward to. It could be something as simple as getting your nails done, a candle lit bubble bath or night out on the town. Whatever you choose, make it official, book some time for yourself and add it to your calendar.

If you can’t wait for your treat, buy an extra gift for yourself. Wrap it up and give yourself your reward after you have managed to get through a difficult event.


  • Self medicating

A few drinks over the holiday season is fine but don’t go overboard. It might make you feel good for a while but could also loosen lips and make a bad situation even worse. So have fun but don’t use it as a crutch to avoid negative situations.

The above tips should give you a better chance of surviving the holiday season.  Enjoy yourself and create some good memories.

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