Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." - Nehemiah 8:10

Holiday Coping PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tara Mock   
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 08:23

I know this is a tough time of year.  Family invading, you want to hide.  People asking too many questions, you want to ignore them.  You’re not feeling very thankful during this season of Thanksgiving nor do you feel very merry during Christmas.  I understand.

If you are going to visit family or friends, or having folks come to you, then it is a good idea to have a plan to handle stress.  Here are some suggestions, many of which worked wonders for me:

  • Define “your” space and make it your refuge.  At home, if its your master bedroom, kindly ask that no one enter that room, keep the door the closed and know that if you need a moment - it is yours to retreat to.  Away from home, do your best to do the same.  If its a guest room, use that.  If necessary, stay in a hotel.  If its the back porch or a bench or taking a walk, do so.
  • Bring a “quiet time bag.”  Include your Bible, devotional book, novel, journal, puzzle book, and pen.  Grab a few minutes here and there to relax your mind and spend time with Jesus. 
  • You do not have to answer questions you do not feel comfortable answering.  Redirect the conversation in a lighthearted way - perhaps to a favorite meal or movie.  Getting the other person to talk about themselves is usually a sure winner!  If necessary, be very direct.
  • Holiday gatherings are generally stressful events, even if subconsciously, for everyone.  Keeping that in mind with a spoonful of grace will hopefully help!
  • If necessary, call it a year that you need to stay home and take care of you and your family and baby.  You, your health, and your family are much more important.
  • If you are hosting a meal at your house, do not feel the need to play “super-chef” even if you did in past years.  Make it a year to do something different - order the entire meal out and relax.  We have done this often and its delicious, relaxing, and we have so much less clean-up and more time to spend with each other.  Less stress!  Check local restaurants, grocery stores, and even Boston Market for a meal.  (Boston Market was delicious!)
  • Schedule an appointment or two ahead of time with a counselor to learn some coping and relaxation techniques, or conversation or confrontation techniques for dealing with difficult or nosy family members. 
  • Or schedule an appointment for a massage - yea! 
  • Set up no expectations for yourself or others, just live each day in and of itself - getting through minute by minute if necessary.  Put on your favorite music, memorize a favorite Scripture and focus on that.
  • Enlist a prayer partner to pray for you diligently during the stressful season.  And have a friend available to call to vent or cry to.  Girlfriends are the best in the world!

Get Help Now...

If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, please contact your local emergency services or physician immediately. In addition, mother and baby should not be left alone! Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE



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