5 tips to survive family during the holidays

Striving for peace during family holidays can seem impossible. Feeling good about ourselves when we leave the event can be even harder to accomplish. Let’s not forget the awkward family moments during the holidays.

It’s not a good feeling when we are stressed, trust me when I say… Most toxic family dynamics become strained during the holidays. That is why I came up with these 5 tips to survive family during the holidays.

Surviving Family During The Holiday

1. Setting boundaries– Okay, I know everyone says we should set boundaries during the holiday season, my response…. you try being at my family functions and see how you deal with it. It seems impossible and makes us wonder if anyone understands what it means to create boundaries. High emotions, alcohol, and our triggers… family functions can be a cesspool of dysfunction.
Set limits- when the same childhood story gets told- you can politely say, this is an uncomfortable story, I would prefer it not to be said. Are you laughing at this….. I get it… if your family is anything like mine… they are going to look at you and say..uh.. ok, and continue with the story.

Take control of your happiness; I would personally walk away, not in a rude way, politely get up and walk into another room. You have now set the limit of how much that story will be told… if you are not in the same space, they will think…what’s the point of telling the story? Plus, you don’t have to hear it again, toxic family moment diverted.

2. Don’t assume we know what will be said before it is – put aside why we shouldn’t assume and what it makes U AND ME… it can also create the same cycle of reactions. This year we want something more from our family holiday, we want peace. Can you hear the chant…. what do we want.. PEACE.. When do we want it… NOW.. lol
Do not assume we know what they will say before they say it. If we are ready with comebacks for that one family member who diminishes your profession or ideas for your happiness, then we are on the defense.

Trust me; I have spent years driving to my destination, thinking of different responses to what I assume they will say. It always became an issue, and I spend the rest of the day wanting to go home. Years ago, I vowed not to assume and listen before reacting. Having a comeback ready will put us on the defensive and distract from the peace within. Plus, it helps that I have put things in perspective…. I no longer care what they think; they are not living my life or paying my bills. Girl Power!

3. Are they asking a question?– There are some people where we will never.. at least in this season of life, understand or even agree.
WAIT before you respond… Are they asking you a question or offering an opinion? Silence is golden, my friends. We don’t need to add our view to a situation we would soon like to forget. Only respond if they have a question, not everything needs a response from you. Are you feeling like you can take on the family holidays? Hold up, I have two more and a bonus.

4. Don’t make it worse- In highly emotional situations, our triggers and limiting beliefs about what the holidays should look and feel. Before reacting, even though we want to, look at the situation for what it is. Not better or worse or that it might get worse.

For example: if someone is upset at your holiday event, let them be angry, ignore them, and allow their time to process. Treat the situation as it is, nothing more than someone being upset. They may not flip out as in years past. Another way to say this is… don’t add fuel to the fire.

5. Slow your roll- If people are in a rush, wanting to hurry a situation that cannot be rushed, or perhaps you are surrounded by high strung people -then make it a point to slow yourself down. Pray, meditate, or go for a walk (take the Dog, thee stressed too), something that will calm your nerves.
I have to do this often when I am around certain people; some want everything perfect and are high strung because of it. Therefore, I have to walk out of the room, take deep breaths, and continue. It’s when everyone is highly stressed… chaos happens.

Bonus: GRACE We are not perfect; we have issues of our own, which- unknown to us can create stress for others. Grace, your family in, we are all doing the best we can.
Some of the 5 tips to survive family during the holidays will affect us more than the others. I tend to take on other’s emotions, so for me slowing my roll helped me get through the holiday.

Family dynamics are different for everyone; in some cases, it is helpful to seek professional help; it has helped me get through some tough times.

Do you have ideas on how to get through the holiday season? We could all use some advice… Spill the Tea!


  • December 15, 2019