Holiday + Family

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, December 11, 2019
By Lisa Jimenez, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

The holidays can be a great opportunity to spend time with the people you love and recharge for the upcoming year. For many it’s the most wonderful time of the year, full of gatherings and celebrations. But let’s be real, this can also come with a lot of stress or even difficult reflection of the year that just passed. Instead of recharging we often drain ourselves and struggle to be present with our friends and family.

It can be easy to get caught up in your head for many different reasons: the gifts we’re giving and getting, how we do or don’t look, seeing family members who we’re not too fond of… the list can go on and on.

Planning out a few coping skills to help manage these emotionally loaded scenarios and redirect your attention can be very helpful. When we find those moments of joy and truly cherish them, this can lend to a more fulfilling holiday season. With that in mind, if your brain begins to play tricks on you, and pull you away from the ones you love, here are some creative ways to redirect your attention:

  • Find your favorite dish at the party and mindfully eat it. Give it a good smell, take a big piece, and savor each bite! Soon you’ll forget that annoying tia who asked “why you don’t have a boyfriend?” or that uncle that watches a little too much cable news.
  • Bustling party? Take a moment for a little one-on-one time with a friend and catch up. You’ll hear about their year and get a breather to keep the party going.
  • Have a favorite holiday song? Sing or play it so your family and friends can enjoy it too. Focus on the lyrics and a verse that resonates with you.
  • Tap into your spirituality. Whether this is a saying, prayer, or simply stepping aside to concentrate on your breath. Connecting with something greater than ourselves may elicit feelings of peace and grounding.

The holidays can be bittersweet for many. Allowing space for all of our emotions and taking the steps to care for ourselves can make all of the difference.

What’s one mind trap you’re likely to fall into this holiday?
What’s one way you can plan to redirect your attention?
Leave your comments here.