Five ways to navigate family dramas this festive season

With Christmas looming, and the New Year just around the corner, you may be facing a bunch of functions with your extended family. 

If your family is anything like mine, this often means navigating through a bunch of old dramas, long forgotten grudges and awkward conversations, which may leave you crying in the corner, stress eating pudding. 

There has to be a better way to ensure good mental and physical health during and after these events, and not leave you crawling over the line at the end of the year. 

Here are our tips to help you navigate your way to a better festive season, and maybe avoid creating additional family dramas. 

1.  It’s ok to say no
There’s a lot of pressure to socialise at this time of year. Between friends, work and other social commitments, it can be difficult to fit in family and also time for yourself. If you need to find some balance, it’s ok to say no. You can catch up in January – it’s only a few weeks away! Remember to try to keep at least some of your regular routine that keeps you healthy and well (e.g. a walk, bike ride, swim or coffee date) to ensure you’re able to catch your breath and not get overwhelmed in the busyness. 

2.  Don’t drink your way through
It’s tempting and we’ve all probably been there; just drink away the pain and before you know it, the event will be over. However, the downside is that you can be left with more than a headache the next day (what did you say to Aunty Sally anyway?), not to mention the short term and long term health impacts of binge drinking throughout the festive season. Be responsible, drink in moderation and maybe give some of our mocktail recipes a try so you don’t end up with a case of FOMO. 
family christmas dinner
3.  Manage your expectations
If you know that Uncle Steve is always a jerk, then don’t expect this year to be any different. While optimism is a good value to have, if you’re realistic going into these events, you’ll be better placed to deal with them. Take a moment to identify the things that are likely to upset you and develop some simple strategies to help manage them – even if that’s simply to avoid that person!

4.  Walk it off
If it’s all getting too much, and Uncle Steve is fighting with Aunty Sally again, take yourself out for a walk. Enjoy a post lunch stroll to help burn off any indulgences, and it also removes you entirely from the unpleasantness. Even just a half an hour walk gives you a chance to clear your mind and reset before returning to the group. 

5.  Just say ommmm
Keeping your cool and managing the overwhelming season may be easier if you’ve got some relaxation techniques up your sleeve. Whether you prefer meditation at bedtime, or just use a few quick and easy relaxation ideas you’ve committed to memory, you’ll find the whole festive period a lot less stressful and a lot more zen. 
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