Self Care for the Holidays

 

You’ve been at school for a few months, and the holiday season is around the corner. It’s a time to catch up with family and friends, and hopefully relax. But, what do we do if we dread going home? Even if it’s a minute part of us, dealing with the dread of going home can make us feel guilty. Coping with these feelings while also coming to terms our “new us” can be exhausting. Even if we “dread” going home there are a couple of strategies to help us cope.

1. Remember you are an adult

     A big stressor during our transitional years is finding the balance between being the adult we are, and the child our parents still see us as. We’ve moved out, created our own network, accomplished surviving on our own, but somehow we still feel like a child when we go home. It happens. The best thing to combat this, for me, is reminding myself of the adult I am, not the child I used to be. Ask yourself some questions. Did I pay my bills? Did I choose to go to college? Did I drive myself? Did I choose my own dang outfit today? If you answered yes to ANY of these questions, then congrats you’re a real-life adult, which means you are capable of making your own decisions and are only responsible for YOUR actions.

 

2. Make Space for yourself

 

     I love my family with all my heart, but ya girl needs space. We all do. If the Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanuka get-togethers are too crowded, overwhelming, or even just boring have a plan of retreat. Make a space for yourself to go relax. This could be your old bedroom, the bathroom, or even going for a drive. You are not obligated to sit and suffer through every detail of an event if you do not want that. Your family will be there when you decide to come back. I promise.

 

3. Have a Support Network

        Okay, this one is as plain as the holly on a tree. Sometimes, even when we’re surrounded by our family, we can miss our chosen family. If you’ve made great friends in college, don’t feel bad for texting them over the break to chat. If you’re going to be in a space where you feel more stressed than usual, share a joke with a friend, ask if they are up for a call, just reach out. No, these people aren’t “technically” family, but who’s to say what a family looks like anyway. Don’t feel guilty for reaching out and having someone to talk to if you need it. Honestly, we all know holidays can be hard.

 

4. Don’t Forget Self-Care

    Yes, technically all of the above are self-care, but don’t forget to relax! This is your only real reprieve all year. Take an extra long shower or bath, sleep in, have a lazy day and just lay on the couch. Go for a walk or play with your dogs. Let your body rest. If you’re physically rested, you’ll be able to deal with the next semester better. Being well rested also does wonders for your mental health. There’s a reason doctors want you to get a good night's sleep, your body, and brain function better.

 

    When you’re “dreading” going home Holidays can become miserable. I feel you. And even if they don’t completely dispell that dread, these things can help you get through those few weeks at home. Remember you’re an adult and an amazing one at that. Holidays can be tough, but you’re tougher.

 

And from me to you Happy Holidays.