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Coping With Holiday Get-Together Stress

How to Cope with the Stress of Holiday Get-Togethers

Christmas is upon us, and the pressure to do the “right things” for family and friends might feel like it’s mounting!   If you are unsure of what you should do and are struggling, try checking in with yourself and determine what you want to do. What are you comfortable with? What will cause you the least amount of stress and anxiety? 

At Move Forward Counseling, we have devised a list of suggestions for dealing with pressure from friends and family get-togethers. 

This is Your Choice 

Our families and friends often know exactly how to push our buttons. They can pressure us into things even when we don’t feel comfortable, and while sometimes that is a good thing, forcing us to experience new things, other times it leads to stress, arguments, and anxiety.  Managing relationships can feel complicated.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, remember – it is your choice. You have to be ok with it. You can decide to stay or go.  You set your boundaries.  

Be Firm and Share Your Feelings 

Tell people why you are uncomfortable attending or participating in a holiday activity. Share your feelings. Be honest. If you are not firm, people will think there is still a chance for you to change your mind. Make sure to be clear with your choice to avoid any miscommunication.  

Tell People How It Is

Be honest with your feelings. Whatever your reasoning is. Being open with your family and friends will help them to see what personal decisions you are making. 

Stay Strong 

Hold your ground when facing pressure from family and friends, and your internal emotional battle is difficult. But, once you make a choice you are comfortable with, you need to stand your ground. Stay strong. Don’t waiver because someone is trying to convince you otherwise. You need to do what you feel in your gut is the right choice. 

Think it Through 

Think it through before you decide what you plan to do for the holidays. Weigh your pros and cons and listen to yourself. Talk it out with a spouse or close family member/friend, counselor, or therapist to determine what you want and are comfortable doing.  

COVID-19 – Lingering Worry

To add to the pressure are lingering views of the pandemic, vaccinations, and debates – it might still get messy. Think about your views before letting others know your plans.  If you are struggling with how to approach family/friends about the holidays and the ongoing COVID-19 illnesses, consider seeking the help of a counselor or therapist. They can help guide you. 


Everyone at Move Forward Counseling wishes you a safe, peaceful holiday season!  Thank you for stopping by our website.

Are you considering counseling in Pennsylvania?  

At Move Forward, our professionally trained and licensed counselors have openings. Call our office at 717-462-7003×1 or chat with our scheduling team to get started to feel better and handle the holidays’ pressures and stress.

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