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A Stress Free Holiday

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Foolproof ways to handle family members during the holidays.

By: Morgan Malget

The holiday season can lead to a lot of unwanted stress. With traveling and having to make plans with family and friends, the last thing you're going to want to be stressing over is having to see your aunt Cheryl who thinks she knows all the answers to your life because of the good time she had in college. Here are a few tips to conquer all of your family holidays without making you want to pull your hair out.

1. Make a game plan for how to handle anything that may trigger you. When one of your relatives says something offensive, or tries to get into politics, try to politely leave the conversation and go take a short walk or go to the bathroom to relax for a minute. If you can't get away from the conversation, just smile and nod until you can change the subject. Sometimes it can make you feel better to be the bigger person and diffuse the situation rather than giving in to it!

2. Always have an ally. When you do get stuck in a sticky situation, it's good to have someone to rant to afterwards. Whether that means you go talk to your favorite cousin or you text your best friend, filling someone in on your situation can help blow off some steam so that you won't let it out on your family.

3. Be prepared for the nosy questions you're going to get. It has happened every year since you were 16, so why do you think this year would be any different? This year, be prepared for the interrogation and have responses ready. If your grandma asks if you're cold because you've got those "dingy ripped jeans on," simply tell her that you're very warm and you're feeling cute today, too. When your aunts start asking about relationships and school that's where civil responses can get tricky. If you get asked if you're in a relationship yet because you, "won't have those good looks forever," tell them you're focusing on your school and goals, which are way more important than a relationship, and that you have too much going on to have a relationship at the moment.

4. But once you mention school and your goals you'll have to answer questions about those. Sometimes when you're asked about school and your future goals it can feel annoying and tasking. If you feel like you've got it figured out, don't be afraid to brag on yourself, it may even make them jealous enough to quit asking. If you aren't quite sure what you're doing and you're feeling a little in shambles, simply give them a vague answer such as, "I have a lot of things in the works right now" or "It's been busy, but I'm figuring it out."

5. Make time for self-care. Don't forget that it's okay to not spend every second of the holidays with your relatives. Give yourself some "you time" throughout the day. Take a short nap, watch a holiday show or go give your dog some love!

6. Make sure going home really is the best option for you. If you are just going to be miserable and self-conscious the entire time, maybe find a close friend that you could go to their family's gathering with, or take a fun little trip over the holidays with your friends so you don't have to deal with the holiday at all!


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