The holiday season can be a wonderful, joyous and even magical time of year. What is also magical is the way we revert to our twelve year old selves as soon as we enter our childhood home. Once we cross the old “home” threshold, sibling disputes re-erupt, parents treat their adult children like children, and old anxieties and reactions move back in. All in front of your significant other who has never met your twelve year old self and probably wished they never had. This is just the first ten minutes. Oh what a trip this will be!
So the big question then becomes: How do you keep from reverting to your twelve year old self? Here are three simple steps that work for me:
- Recognize that this is actually normal. When under stress we typically will revert to old comfortable behaviors and patterns;
- Remind yourself of all the adult things you do, like have a job, pay your bills, that you are a parent, a partner…etc.
- Take a deep breath and remember the short time you get to spend with your family and that everyone is there to enjoy each other’s company.
The holiday season and all of the fun and stress it brings will be over soon, so try to focus on the good stuff and find humor in the bad. Just think of all those great stories you’ll share with your friends when you get home. I happen to have an amazing holiday story about road-kill deer-jerky, but we’ll save that for another time.
Lastly, if all of these suggestions are not doing the trick, Center for the Psychology of Women offers Skype and phone therapy sessions year-round which can be especially useful around the holidays. We would be happy to remind you of your adult self and give you custom tailored solutions to ease you through the holidays.