Hey friends! Welcome back for Blogmas Day 5! Hope you are enjoying my posts so far. Be sure to check out Day 4 here if you haven’t already! Today I want to get a little more serious with you. W’re going to talk about keeping your anxiety in check while spending to holidays with your partner’s family.
It’s the holiday season, and for many of us that means visiting different households. For some this may be exciting or just another day, but for those of us with anxiety disorders, it can be terrifying. I personally have dealt with anxiety for a number of years and am just now feeling like I’m gaining back control of my life.
For the past few holiday seasons, I’ve had to go back and forth between my mother’s house as well as each of my boyfriend’s parent’s houses. In the beginning it was a complete struggle to get through an evening, and at one point I just stopped visiting with him. Once I determined that my relationship was definitely long-term, I knew I couldn’t allow myself to hide in fear forever. These people were my family too.
So I began doing simple things such as reciting affirmations while I got ready and lighting candles to relax my nerves. If you’re anything like me, you don’t like being put on the spot. I never know what questions people may have lined up for me, and that puts me on edge. To help with that, I think of a few questions and possible answers in advance. Usually I’ll think of a few that are completely outrageous to throw in the mix, just so I can feel like I’m ready for anything.
Most of the time they never ask me anything outside of the normal “how are things at work/home?” so I sail through the night with minimal issues. When I feel like I’m well prepared, there are less things that can go wrong and believe it or not, this has actually helped boost my confidence. I’m now much more willing to sit down and have conversations with even members of Ryan’s extended family.
Think of something that helps you feel more confident and figure out how you can apply it to the situation. Being prepared helps me, but maybe visualizing your in-laws as different people may help you! It all varies from person to person, but I encourage you to make a list beforehand this holiday season of things that make you feel good about yourself, and use that list to tackle Christmas with your families.
I also suggest bringing a gift along with you. Picking up a nice bottle of wine to pair with dinner or even bringing a dish will offer you something to talk about. Just in case you need to change the subject to save your boo from embarrassment or if the conversation is just getting stale.
If you’re one that has an issue with keeping the conversation going, I suggest taking note of things around the room, when you first walk in, to use for emergency topics. Plenty of holiday decorations? Ask questions about the decor. A wall full of pictures? Ask what memories they have captured up there. Use whatever you can and have that locked and ready to go.
These are just a few of the tips that have helped me to gain my confidence and connect with my boyfriend’s family, despite my anxiety. If you’re needing a little assistance spending the holidays with your significant other’s family, or maybe even your own family, please try some of these out and let me know in the comments below! If you have anything you’d like to add you can also let me know down in the comments.
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you guys tomorrow for Blogmas Day 6!