When You Just Can’t Deal with the Holidays

By Steve Austin | Current Events

Nov 19

The holiday season is upon us. I can hardly stand the excitement of family get-togethers and out-of-town guests.

No, really. I can hardly stand it.

12 Snarky Self-Care Tips for the Holidays

The only thing worse than dry turkey is the runny lemon meringue pie Grandma tries her best to guilt you into eating. But worse than Cousin Martha’s green bean casserole is having to get together with people you only see twice a year and being forced to act like you enjoy their company.

Uncle Jeff is bound to fall asleep in the recliner and snore through the second half of the football game. Little Johnny is going to clog the toilet. He always does. Aunt Louise will catch everyone up on hometown gossip. Grandpa will regale you with stories from his childhood (which you’ve heard at least 174 times). And your mom will continue to shove plates of food in your face for the duration of the afternoon. “Diet?” she’ll say, horrified, “Whoever heard of a diet during the holidays?!”

If you dread the holidays as much as my friends and me, here’s 12 ways to guard yourself from holiday craziness:

  1. If you have unresolved chores, bills, family relationships that are strained or projects that are unfinished, do everything you can to get them managed before the holidays set in.

  2. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. Know which topics and people are off-limits. If a conversation comes up that you’re not comfortable having, walk away.

  3. Park on the street so you don’t get blocked in.

  4. Agree on a “code word” prior to the holiday celebration that says, “I’ve had enough of this and I have to get out of here before I throw a rod!” – Kate Pieper, LMFT

  5. Arrive late and leave early.

  6. When hosting the family hellabration, it is important to have hooch somewhere. If you are from a family of teetotalers, make a pot of coffee and keep a bottle of Irish cream under the sink to …errr…sweeten it with. They will be in awe of your endless holiday cheer. – Sasha Maples Johns, True Vine Gifts

  7. Lots of families have a “crazy Uncle Bo.” Be intentional about not leaving any family member alone with “Uncle Bo.” Think of it as ‘leave no family member behind!’ – Kate Pieper, LMFT

  8. Have an “after party” planned so you can only stay with draining people for a set amount of time (i.e, take the kids to see Christmas lights, go to a late movie with a friend, plan on taking goodies to a coworker’s house, etc). Or have someone on standby to send an “emergency” text/phone call when you need to get out. – Lindsey Austin

  9. The bathroom is your safe place. – Teer Hardy, Crackers and Grape Juice Podcast

  10. Set expectations low. Family holidays aren’t times to truly bond or resolve issues. Go in with the expectation of it not being perfect, but “just be kind.” – Kate Pieper, LMFT

  11. Stay in the moment. Remember the reason for your season. Whatever your personal reasons are for celebrating the holidays, remember to be present and enjoy everything you can. This year will never be here again! – Faydra Koenig

  12. If all else fails, it’s perfectly acceptable to come down with a last-minute stomach bug. (Seriously – it is perfectly acceptable to say no to the things that cause more stress than joy.)

While the holidays can be a joyous time, for many, they are stressful and cause anxiety. Whether finances, family dynamics or other worries are at play, not everyone is excited about the added stresses that the holidays can bring.

On December 3rd, I’m launching a free 10-day course, “How to Keep the CrayCray Outta Your Christmas!”

It’s super helpful, loads of fun, and totally free. Click here to sign up before you forget.

Dealing with Holiday Stress? Here’s 3 Tips for Complicated Families

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About the Author

Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.

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