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As much as I want to spend time with family over the holiday season, it’s stressful! Any tips for how to survive without losing my cool?

By October 31, 2015November 19th, 2020Blogs, Dr. Jenny Yip

The idea of the holidays puts my head into a tail spin and my heart into mild palpitations. PANIC! I’m concerned about past family dynamics and interactions. I’m on pins and needles, wondering when the old patterns will emerge while I’m with my family. Along with judgement about my choices, anything and everything is up for scrutiny: “Did I gain weight?” “Did I lose weight?” “What I am I wearing?” And then the inevitable… “What am I doing?”
It’s estimated that nearly one hundred million Americans will be traveling from Thanksgiving to the end of the year. And about 99.9 % are worried about how “this holiday season” is going to go. Looking for a few tips? Check these out…

  1. Agree to disagree. The possibility of tension is high. The intention of the holiday season is joy, however IT IS STRESSFUL. Sleeping in your childhood bedroom and adhering to someone else’s schedule is disorienting. Find opportunities to feel your feet on the ground. In every opportunity that arises, you have a choice. Make a good choice.


  1. Celebrate traditions. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows is delicious and a lovely tradition to be celebrated once a year. Enjoy the traditions of the season; it might not happen again until next year. This is mindfulness training at its best. I have framed it as… it’s my last time for Thanksgiving 2015, as we will never have another Thanksgiving 2015.


  1. Create new traditions. Goofy family portraits, having each family member identify what they are grateful for, you decide. My family tradition is to create art. We make plates every Thanksgiving and then they are gifted to family members for the up and coming holidays. Check out for easy kits for creating art if you feel inspired.


  1. Breathe. Honor your self-care that is part of your daily routine at home, be it jogging, expensive coffee at the trendy cafe, or reading. Keep consistent with your healthy routines and rituals while away. Plus, it’s New Years time, so perhaps even create new commitments for self-care. Seize the time to get started.

Lastly, be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that we are all doing the best that we can and holidays are stressful for all of us, from mother-in-laws to cashiers. We are in this together.
Happy Holidays!!!

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