The holidays are a time of year for family gatherings, celebration, and love. Sometimes, too much time with the family may feel stressful or bring about unwanted feelings. As much as you love your family, they may start to get on your nerves a bit. You are not alone! This is a common feeling. When you notice that you may start to feel like you need a break to refresh yourself, try one of these helpful self-care tips.
Everyone is different, so everyone will find a different tip will work best for them. Read them through and write down which ones you think may help you in times of stress. Remember, it is important to take care of your mental health, and it is okay to step away from the family event for a little while in order to take care of yourself. You are strong, you are courageous, and you are loved.
Tip #1: Write in a journal. Journaling helps you get your thoughts out and ideas on paper. This is a great way to sort out your feelings and get any negative thoughts out of your mind.
Tip #2: Take a walk outside. Step outside and take a breath of fresh air. Even a short walk in the neighborhood can help you process your thoughts and take a break.
Tip #3: Listen to music or a favorite podcast. Listening to your favorite music or podcast is a great way to wind down or take a break from what’s going on. Put on your favorite playlist to help your stress melt away.
Tip #4: Talk nicely to yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Look in the mirror and verbalize your accomplishments, give yourself praise for all of the hard work you have done for yourself and for others. Repeat self-affirmations in the mirror such as “I am loved,” “I am strong,” “I love myself," "I am worthy."
Tip #5: Take 3 deep breaths. When you are starting to feel anxious or overwhelmed, take a pause and do 3 deep breaths through your nose and out mouth. This helpful technique will help you slow your thoughts and center yourself again.
Tip #6: Get organized. On the day of your family get together, knowing the arrival and departure times may help you feel like you have more control over the gathering. Write down the arrival and departure times in your calendar or planner to help it feel more concrete. If you need to leave earlier than planned, that is okay too.
Tip #7: Use a meditation app for a few minutes. Find a room where you can be alone for a while, and choose a meditation recording from an app. Put on your headphones, close your eyes, and let the recorded meditation help you relax.
Tip #8: Call a friend. Sometimes family nuances can be overwhelming and you need to step away and vent to someone. Call up a close friend and tell them you just need someone to listen or to just be on the phone with. You don’t even have to talk about what’s going on. You may find it helpful for the friend to distract you with something else for a little while.
The Bottom Line
Your mental health is important! Family is important, too. Remember to take time to yourself to decompress so that you can enjoy your time with family during the holidays. Politely excuse yourself from the group, use one or more of these tips, and then rejoin when you feel ready.