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Happy Holidays: Quick Survival Tactics

Heather Edwards Mental Health Counseling / Articles  / Happy Holidays: Quick Survival Tactics

Happy Holidays: Quick Survival Tactics

heather edwards holidays psychotherapy



The Holidays are upon us! They can bring a host of joys and sorrows with them. Use these quick tips to skate through the Grinch’s and Gremlin’s efforts to sabotage your holiday spirit.

  1. When the dinner rolls are burning and the kids are screaming, reach out for help. Delegate. Your partner and sister could enjoy having a task assigned to them. They’ll have a sense of ownership and purpose, and you’ll have a sense of relief.
  2. When Aunt Sally teams up with Negative Nancy to criticize the gifts, dinner, or activities take a deep breath. Hit your pause button and reflect on what could be motivating her behavior – her aches and pains, poor sleep, “h-anger” (hungry-anger)… It probably doesn’t have anything to do with what’s happening in the moment. Choose to respond with compassion instead of reaction
  3. When you’re reminded of a loved one who is estranged or passed away, cherish the memories of fun times with him/her and prepare something special in their honor,
  4. When the family room feels too cramped and crowded, find an activity in another room to get some space. Wipe the kitchen counters, get a glass of water, stoke the fire, check on  items in the oven, or throw away the crumpled gift wrap.
  5. If you’re spending the holidays alone, plan a fun activity for yourself. Take a walk around town, window shop, or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a classic movie. It’s your day to take care of you.
  6. When all else fails, here are a few catch-alls – practice gratitude – ground yourself by noticing your physical body sensations to get out of your head – look for the silver lining and learning experiencelet go of expectations.

This is a short list of survival tactics can ameliorate the infinite myriad of snafu’s that can ensue during the holidays. Hopefully, they will arm you with a few methods to keep your cool, embrace difficult people, and skip down candy cane lane.


Heather Edwards, LMHC, BCC

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