Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving

 

Do the holidays stress you out? Does the thought of interacting with your possibly racist, sexist and/or homophobic relatives make you want to crawl into a hole and hide? Well you’re in luck! Here are some tips on how to take care of yourself during these stressful holidays!

 

Have a Safe Place

Whether it be your room, your bathroom, or your car┄ try and have a safe place to take some time for yourself when your family dinner gets political. If you are not home, try and distance yourself by bringing headphones or earbuds to drown out any uncomfortable conversation. If you aren’t able to listen to something calming, try and find a quiet place to relax. If there are small cousins or siblings, hang out with them instead of your adult relatives. Remember, it is completely valid to not want to engage in political discussions with your relatives.

 

Talk to Your Family Beforehand

If you know your family is politically divided, and you feel comfortable with it, let your family members know before the event that you do not want to participate in discussing politics. This can prevent arguments and discomfort, but can also cause strife, so ensure your family understands your discomfort and wish for a peaceful celebration. If this fails, make sure you have a safe space to retreat to as mentioned above!

 

Do Your Favourite Things

Whether it be baking, reading, painting or knitting; take some time both before and after your Thanksgiving dinner to do the things you love. Clear your mind, focus on your passions, and remember all of the negativity produced by the holidays is temporary. 

 

Have a Virtual Friendsgiving

Set up a Zoom or Discord type feast with your friends! Everyone can make or have delivered their favourite meal, just without the risk of COVID-19! This is perfect if your family Thanksgiving is not an option this year, or if you just need time with your friends. Virtual Friendsgivings are also perfect ways to hang out with people who may not live near you or who may not be able to go out much. 

 

Reach out to Friends

If you know things can get rough around the holidays, reach out to your friends, both to make sure they’re doing okay, and to make sure they understand what you may be experiencing as well. This can help build community within your friends, as well as ensure everyone feels loved and supported by someone. If you aren’t able to help a friend through the holidays because of your own mental health, you are valid! I recommend setting up a relaxing movie night over Zoom just to hang out and destress with someone else, even if it means not talking much.

 

Remember, you are completely valid. The holidays can be challenging for everyone, including those in unsupportive households and those with relatives that may not be the kindest of people. There is always someone that is willing to listen and help you.

 

Hotlines:

1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.800.273.TALK (8255) - Hearing Impaired: (800) 799-4889

2. Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQIA+ Helpline): 1.866.488.7386

3. Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN): 1.800-656.HOPE (4673)