Have you heard the saying: “See your family for Christmas, and a shrink in a New Year!” Do you feel bombarded by happy images of perfect families exchanging gifts by a Christmas tree or car commercials of getting a new vehicle from your spouse as a gift? How do you feel when you see these images? Do you feel sad, frustrated, skeptical, sarcastic, or more alone? If so, you are not alone. Holidays can be a trigger for many people and can open all sorts of old wounds, hurts, and old patterns of relationship dynamics.
Here are my ideas for how to survive the Holidays
- If you believe your family is toxic, limit your interaction to 1.5-2 hours max. Make plans afterward to meet up with your friends and people who love and support you.
- Arrange a support buddy. Support each other through text messages, pictures, and emojis as you take time out from your family.
- Remember that Christmas is a Christian Holiday. Non-Christians do not celebrate. Most Asian and other ethnic restaurants and grocery stores are open. Meet your friends for sushi or explore your local ethnic grocery store.
- Remember, Christmas is only one day out of 365 days of the year.
- If you are alone during the Holidays, volunteer at a soup kitchen, a place of worship, or a food shelf.
- If you are single, remind yourself, that you might be so much closer to a new and loving relationship in comparison to someone who is unhappily married. Join an online dating service.
- Practice gratitude. Identify three things that are going well for you right now.
Ina Lasmane, MA, LMFT
Phone: (612) 559-8704