If you are headed back to your family home for the holidays, and growing up there wasn't the ideal situation to begin with, here are a few tips to keep you sane.
Bring your walking shoes and plan to take a few strolls. Walk around the block, neighborhood, park, or local big box store. Being cooped up with the same people for 24 hours can be rough. You may find smoke coming from your ears each time Aunt Mitilda asks "how's college honey?" when you graduated 6 years ago. While walking, remind yourself this situation is only tempary and practice an awarness of your breath.
If you have an addiction to sweets or alcholol be sure to bring a substitute to get your through. Temptation when we are already under pressure is the pits so have a plan and stick to it!
Dont get too HALT! Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. Treat yourself with compassion. Take a nap or sit with someone who "gets" you and have a cup of tea.
Have a "phone a friend agreement" with someone who can listen to your compalntis and empathize with you. Texts, emails, phone calls and smoke signals all provide support which is really helpful during this time.
Take a few minuties to find a mirror and talk to yourself. Sounds crazy I know, but it works! Tell yourself how good a job you're doing and that you may win the Tony Award for you leading role in a Family Drama Series.
Bring things to distract you! It can be anything; movies, books, zendoodles, coloring books, knitting, puzzles, a basketball, laundry or nail polish. Think of these as yoga for the mind under times of stress.
Take notes of the funny things people say or do over the holiday. Then bring them home and have a contest with your friends. On a scale of 1 to 10, who had the crazier family visit. While you may not win, you will have something to laugh about.
Finally if you don't have any family drama over the holidays, GIVE THANKS and be the DS (Designated Supporter) for your friends. When your friends call or text, tell them you are proud of how they are doing and you know they have what it takes to make it through this situation.