What if the family gets into a heated argument over cranberry sauce? She advised bringing up the fact that everyone at the table has different points of view.
She also recommended taking short breaks throughout the day to walk around or do jumping jacks, as well as watching a funny four-minute video to lighten the mood.
Breath work, a technique that involves controlling your breathing to help you relax, is another useful tool.
The holidays can bring back painful memories that necessitate regular therapy for some people.
As Dr. Danovitch put it, “If that anxiety is really spinning out of control, there is a threshold where you should seek help.”
This will be Kathi Nausedas’s second Christmas since the death of her mother and her second since her husband filed for divorce, both in Chicago suburb Lockport, Ill. To keep her two young daughters, Ava, 9, and Audra, 7, safe, she’s doing everything she can to keep them out of the fray.
Ms. Nausedas said she was terrified of the holidays her first time around. My favourite pastimes, such as listening to Christmas music on the radio, were a source of anxiety for me. Whenever it was playing on the radio, I’d burst into tears.”
It was Christmas Eve, and the loss of her mother was compounded by this fact.
When she realised she was being too hard on herself, she went to see a therapist. Even so, Ms. Nausedas, a public school special education teacher, was concerned about how she would pay for gifts this holiday season. To begin shopping, she had to wait until Friday, when she received her most recent pay check.