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  • themadtherapy

5 Tips for Navigating the Holiday Stress

The holidays are in full force and you’re likely feeling the pressure.

🎄What traditions do I need to stay on top of? (F&#*ing elf on the shelf!)

🎁 What gifts do I need to get and wrap?

🗓 What family gatherings do I need to plan?

🙄 What will my in-laws/parents/aunts/uncles/grandparents say this year?

👨‍👨‍👦‍👦 How will this season look after a divorce/separation/death?

The list goes on!!

Here are my tips for navigating this holiday:


Sit down and ask yourself, “Do I care about this tradition? Why?” If it’s because someone said you “should” do it or if it’s out of obligation or pressure then stop. Only do the traditions that are meaningful to you, which could be none.


Simplify gift giving where you can. Opt out of partaking in some gift exchanges or even ask others if they wanna forego gift giving and just focus on being together. You’re not the only one feeling the weight of gift giving.


Get creative with scheduling. Not everything HAS to happen ON the holiday or even near it. Is it possible to celebrate in January, February, or even August? The purpose is to enjoy the time together no matter when that is. If you have a ton of groups to meet with then consider alternating years. This year with the Jones’ and the next year with the Anderson’s.


Have an exit strategy for holiday get togethers. How long will you stay? How will you leave? How will you communicate to your partner it’s time to go? A unique word or gesture can be a helpful tool! Don’t forget that going to the bathroom is always a safe bet if you’re needing a break.


Be open to a new normal and have plan A through G ready. Give yourself space to feel any big emotions that might come up AND don’t live in them! Have things ready to help you enjoy the day the best you can. Maybe have a dance party, watch a funny movie, enjoy your favorite foods, connect with people you live, or practice a hobby. The holiday can look however feels right for you. It doesn’t have to be the same as the past to be enjoyable.


Don't forget to check out my e-course all about navigating the holiday drama for more strategies, tips and a workbook to ensure that your holiday is filled with a little less anxiety and a little more peace.

Hang in there, M.A.D. Friend. Nothing lasts forever, not even the holidays 🖤


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