Let’s talk about the Holiday Season during COVID…

As exciting and cozy it may feel, the holiday season can also bring up a lot … including uncomfortable conversations. This can include talks around one’s grief, appearances, loss, relationship status, finances, political beliefs and more. Events like holidays – with their traditions and family rituals – can be especially challenging as we’re more easily reminded of what’s changed or is different than it used to be. Addressing these topics can be difficult but we have a quick guide below to help you mentally prepare and manage some of that stress.

Remember you always have the choice to…

Not take things too personally…

Everyone has had a different experience during this time. Keep in mind that what has worked for someone else may not work for you and those rude comments are more of a reflection of the person who said them, rather than of you.

Change the subject…

If something feels too heavy to talk about, you’re at liberty to change the subject to something you’re more comfortable talking about. For example, if your family is asking about your career, change the topic to one of your interests or simply pivot it to something light like “have you watched the new season of insert tv show?”

Be honest…

They do say honesty is the best policy! It can be helpful to be honest and honesty can also come in the form of answers like “I’m not sure,” or “I’m still deciding” to “I don’t feel comfortable talking about this.” It’s okay to not know all the answers or not to want to continue a conversation about a topic that doesn’t feel good.

Decide on your attendance…

remind yourself that you have control of your attendance and time limits. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can always say, “I am tired and need an early night.”

The holidays can pose extra challenges with the fear of ruining the special time with an uncomfortable conversation. Here are some sample responses if you’re ever feeling unsure or a little stuck.

Questions/comments around…

COVID:

“I am all COVIDED out for the day, let’s talk about something else.”

Finances:

“I know we have traditionally done this; however, my financial situation doesn’t allow for that this year. I’m still looking forward to…”

Relationship or job:

“I value your input but “I’d like some time to figure things out first.”

Appearances/body:

“I don’t love that we greet each other with body comments, I bet we have more interesting things to say like how much I missed you!”

Food:

“I am actually working on my relationship with food and not thinking of food as “good” or “bad.” 

Overwhelmed:

allow yourself a time out something like “I am going to head upstairs for some quiet time” or “I’m going to get some fresh air” and I’ll be back around (insert time).

It’s not always easy to remember but…

Keep in mind that although we may not have control of what people say to us, we do have control of how we respond and how much we want to share!

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