Five Top Tips For Coping During The Holiday Season

a stressed woman looking at her phone with a christmas tree in the background

therapy relationship center logoBy The Relationship Therapy Center

Fair Oaks


November 22, 2021

Our 5 Top Tips
for Coping
During The Holiday Season

Can you believe the holiday season is here already?

Holidays are a time for joy and connection for many people. It’s a chance for families and friends to come together, celebrating gratitude, love, and new beginnings.

That said — for many people, the holidays can be tricky to navigate. Whether dealing with insensitive, toxic friends or family members, being triggered by conversations and implications, or experiencing stress over travel, gift-giving and having no time to yourself — the holidays aren’t always a completely festive affair.

If you’re feeling less-than-festive as the holiday season approaches, know that your feelings are valid. The good news is, there are some effective coping strategies you can try to ease the pressure and see you through to a happy, healthy 2022.

Get clear on your boundaries

If you’re anxious about being exposed to certain conversations (such as those relating to COVID, or politics and policy), it’s important for you to be completely clear on your boundaries. You also need to feel confident and comfortable communicating with others. Make a list of conversations that you simply will not engage in — if the subjects arise, you can excuse yourself from the room, offer to help prepare food or complete chores, or state (calmly) that you’d prefer not to discuss the issue over the holidays.

Manage your expectations

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the holiday season, and hope that “this year, things might be different”. But be mindful not to project your feelings onto the people around you —  whether it’s your parents, siblings, partner, old school friends, or anyone else. You’ll never be able to control what someone else thinks, feels, or how they respond.

It’s important for you to focus on what you can control:

  • who and what you choose to engage with
  • how you respond to triggers, and
  • doing things and spending time with people who bring you joy

Engage your support network

You might be surprised by how many people struggle during the holiday season, for a number of reasons. Before the festivities really kick into gear, consider asking around for a friend or family member who might be feeling the same way as you — stressed about money, anxious about spending time at their family home, or feeling down about the holiday season in general. You can offer to be a support person for them, and they can be that person for you too. A text or phone call with someone who can empathize with how you’re feeling can go a long way.

Commit to your self-care

It might seem impossible when you’re surrounded by family and friends, or feel pointless or unimportant if you’re spending time alone during the holiday season — but now more than ever, your self-care routine is paramount. Whether you set aside an hour to read a book in a cozy cafe, book a massage at a local spa, go for a walk on the beach listening to your favorite music, or simply take a few minutes alone at the end of the day to meditate — make sure that you’re prioritizing time to connect with yourself, and look after your mental and emotional health.

Find the light at the end of the tunnel

Know that in a few short weeks, the holiday season will be over. Life will go back to normal. You will return to your job, your home, your pets, your daily routine, your partner, your friends — your own life. The holiday season can be difficult, but the difficulty doesn’t have to define you, or alter the course of the year to come. If you do find that you need some extra support to navigate any feelings that arise during the holiday season, consider speaking with a licensed professional therapist to help you navigate those emotions, and create a strategy for healing in the New Year.

therapy relationship center logoRelationship Therapy Center is a Sacramento area counseling clinic located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA and are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. We offer couples counseling, co-parent counseling, divorce counseling, sex therapy, family therapy, couples therapy retreats, and premarital counseling. In addition, we also provide a number of individual counseling services including anxiety treatment, therapy for children, trauma therapy, addiction counseling, co-dependency counseling, depression treatment, and individual relationship counseling. We will discuss the importance of self-care and emotional support to help you cope and to discover ways to find healthy ways of dealing with stress.

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