Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday. My birthday is in May and I would happily trade it for another Christmas. I’m a total Christmas geek.
But as much as I love the holiday season, I know that this is one of the hardest times of the year.
It’s crazy rushing around trying to get Christmas gifts and plan everything out. This year, because things are still closed down, things are extra crazy. We’re trying to figure out how to make everything work and make it fun.
Especially for survivors, when it comes to the holidays are a lot of factors that can trigger us. We may not be fully prepared because these are triggers that only happen during the holidays.
We need to be extra careful which is why I’m sharing how to survive the holidays.
You may have memories that tainted the holiday season, whether there were positive or negative.
Maybe there were some positive things that went down between you and your ex that was one of those high moments and you miss that. Maybe there’s some negative things that happened now you can’t look at the holiday season the same.
If that’s you, I want you to know that you’re not alone, I want to share some tips that I use and that I’m going to use this year as we go into the holiday season.
Find your people
Have some friends on hand that you can reach out to at any given time when you are feeling overwhelmed. Especially when it comes to reaching out to your ex. That lonely feeling is extra heavy this time of year. Remember: there is a reason you blocked that phone number, there’s a reason why you left. Don’t open yourself back up to that. Having someone to text instead will help battle that.
Having a person to reach out to if a trigger happens could save you so much frustration and anxiety. This is extremely important because a lot of the times when it comes to the holidays, we may not even know what triggered a certain situation. So being able to process your emotions and vent to someone is invaluable.
They may be able to help you pinpoint that trigger, thereby reducing the chance of it happening again in the future.
Getting comfortable with setting boundaries now before anything major happens will help you in the future.
You may not know how to tell your mom you don’t want to come to family dinner because certain people trigger you.
You may not know how to communicate to your nosey aunt that you don’t want to talk about the relationship you just got out of.
Getting comfortable with setting and keeping boundaries will be the best gift you ever give yourself.
One final note about boundaries: you’re not required to go every get together or hop on every Zoom call. You are your own person and you don’t need to let go of what you need for the sake of someone else.
If you have family that’s going to continually pick at you and push you and try to pull information out of you that you’re not ready to give, then you don’t have to go.
Get Comfortable with Speaking Up
You also have to know how to speak up and use your voice.
A lot of the times we go into these situations, I would hide in the corner and not talk to anyone. Whenever anyone had something negative to say, I let them. I never stood up for myself.
I didn’t argue because I was absolutely terrified of having to defend myself. Now that I’m comfortable using my voice, I have no problem defending myself, my parenting, the choices that I’ve made to get me to where I am today.
Create some Affirmations
For a full affirmation breakdown, checkout Affirmation 101. I share the science behind them and how to create them so they work for you.
Begin to create some affirmations that go along with specific scenarios that you may experience or that you’re anxious about.
Here are some examples:
- I am good at setting boundaries
- I am capable of setting boundaries.
- I don’t have to go just because they said so.
- If I’m uncomfortable, I don’t have to stay.
- I made the right decision regardless of what anyone says
These may seem simple but they’re powerful. Saying these on a consistent basis now will help prepare your brain for when it’s time to face the situation.
I’m not saying that affirmations will fix everything, but they most certainly will help.
Think through some of the worst case scenarios.
Think through the situations that you are most anxious about, and how can you prepare for them.
Maybe you want to go to a family get together but you’re worried that you’re going to have that aunt or that uncle trigger you. You can plan to bring your own car. That way if it’s uncomfortable, you can leave at any point.
Even if you end up not leaving early, it gives you an out. You know that your car is there and you can leave at any moment. This will ease your anxiety just by having that peace of mind.
What are some other situations that may come up?
If you have a nosy family member, really hone in on your boundaries. Get prepared to stand up to them when they’re picking for information you don’t want to share.
Think through some of these worst case scenarios. It may even help you to pull out a journal and write them down.
On the left you can list situations you’re worried about and on the right you can write down your solutions.
By visualizing and thinking ahead, you’re actually going to bring your brain a lot of peace. By being prepared, you’re not only going to be able to enjoy the situation more, but you’re also going to feel good knowing you have a plan.
I know the holiday season can be really overwhelming and that this time of year can be really stressful and lonely.
But I want you to know that you deserve better. You deserve more.
If you’re not already, come hang out on Instagram. Send me a DM and let me know how you’re preparing for the holidays. I want be as much of a support as possible. I’m going to be sharing a lot of tips, tricks, and encouragement to get you through this season with as much joy as possible.
Click here to find me on Insta!