Keeping Yourself Happy in Overwhelming Family Gatherings During the Holidays

The holiday season is here, and we all know what that means – family gatherings, laughter, and, of course, a touch of chaos. Now, for some of us, these reunions are warm, and nostalgic. But honestly, they can also be a bit overwhelming, especially when boundaries seem to be on vacation.

So, we  get to our childhood home, ready for lovely moments, but suddenly, it’s advice galore and unprovoked passive-aggressive comments, reliving past scars we’ve worked so hard to heal. But here’s the tea: this year can be different for us because we have some tools to navigate this, and we’re in it together.

At some family gatherings, we often find ourselves, grinning widely, pretending that being home for the holidays is exactly where we wanted to be. The truth is that these family gatherings can be pretty overwhelming.

Firstly, we should remember that it’s perfectly okay to steal a moment or two for ourselves. Go for a walk alone, breathe in the air, and leave your troubles behind for a bit. We could take our NayLiving journals along, pen down your thoughts and feelings. You know, journaling is kind of a therapeutic tool and we’re absolutely here for it!

And this year, maybe we shouldn’t shy away from practicing our responses. We’ve grown up in these families so we know what might pounce on us. Don’t forget to prepare yourself with a well-thought response and, if someone gets a little bit startled, don’t forget, they’ll be fine!

We also like to find our safe space or people, our rock in the crazy storm of a family gathering. Let’s call them up, rant, unpack, refresh. It could be your best friend, your partner, or another family member who can definitely relate. They can lend an ear, shoulder, or even a joke to lighten the mood.

Now here’s the most important point. Remember this; your worth, your identity, it is in YOUR hands, not anybody else’s. No one else knows you the way you do. Take whatever’s thrown at you, with a pinch of salt and maybe even a smirk on your face. No matter what is said about you, what matters is what you think about yourself. So don’t let that Aunty’s passive aggressive comment sink in. We know you can do it.

Let’s not forget, regardless of all, our families love us. They can be annoying, irritating, but also sweet, caring and irreplaceable. And, we’re sure they’d be much less interesting if they were any other way. 

We’re grateful for our family, the craziness that they offer and the fact that in the end, we all do share a wonderful bond of love. 

So enjoy the holiday season and stay sane!


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