From alcohol-fuelled arguments to invasive questions, being at home for the holidays can be a stressful time. This week, our team at Cherchez La Femme is sharing their best tips for how to cope with extended family time at Christmas. Although this might be a joyful time for some, it is not the case for everyone and we’ve got your mental wellness (and ours) covered!
- With all the cooking, cleaning and organising, try to offer your help on these chores even if you’re not the one doing the hosting! The pressure of being the only one to organise things can lead to a growing sense of resentment or feeling overwhelmed while helping or asking for help, will definitely keep your mind occupied. Did you know that any physical activity is a great way to destress your mind? That’s definitely something we will be doing this year, so we’re not on edge (just waiting for the ball to drop!).
- You’re going to have to make some compromises. Whether that’s playing Monopoly (again!), switching out the good cheese for a vegetarian-friendly substitute, or sitting at the kids' end-of-the-table, chances are you’re going to end up doing something you’d rather not and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Compromising can help show family that you value spending time with them and building memories together over having things just as you want them. Also, this way, you can avoid useless heated arguments!
- If you’re struggling to enjoy the time with your family, try and think back on the things you have enjoyed from Christmas pasts. Family traditions, favourite films, boardgames that bring a smile, specific foods, even in-jokes that only your family gets. Think back and try to make a list of three festive things you enjoy: can you do anything to try and incorporate them this year?
- If it’s all still getting a little too much for you, try to get out. Whether it is by suggesting a family walk or going out on one by yourself, with the family pet or your partner. Removing yourself physically from the situation can help you to feel refreshed, energised, and ready to try again!
- Finally, don’t feel pressured to stay too long. If leaving early means that you get to chill in your pjs getting some much-needed ‘me’ downtime while other members of our families are still making awkward small talk, so be it! The less you try to force things the more space there is for things to develop naturally. You can’t force good cheer, and that’s OK!
‘You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’ may not ring quite as true as it once did, as more and more of us see our friends as our families of choice.
But it’s hard to deny that when it comes to the holiday season, many of us can feel an impending sense of dread. Not this year! Try practising our top tips for staying balanced while spending time with your family and let us know if you have any more advice on how to stay grateful!
Wishing you all a peaceful festive season,
Cherchez La Femme team X
[Info sourced on happiful.com and stylist.co.uk
All images sourced on canva.com]