5. Rely on trusted people (and humor).
Count on the other supports in your life if you are nervous about the holidays. Consider bringing along a friend or partner. If you can’t find anyone to go with you then ask a friend if you can check in with them by text throughout the day. They may appreciate having some backup, too. Life Coach Martha Beck recommends a few different games to deal with especially dysfunctional family dynamics. I find that teens and young adults, in particular, appreciate these somewhat darkly humorous games. All of them involve observing your relatives ‘from the outside’ in order to gather information.
Game 1: Queen for a Day
In Queen for a Day, you and a few friends meet up after the holidays to ‘compete’ for the most horrible holiday family experience. Everyone votes to select the winner or ‘queen’ (or other royal) and the others buy the winner lunch.
Game 2: Comedy Club
In Comedy Club, you take notes on your relatives’ awkward and/or atrocious behavior in order to prep for a stand-up comedy bit. You then try your bit out on your audience of friends.
Game 3: Dysfunctional Family Bingo
In Dysfunctional Family Bingo, you and your friends design personalized Bingo cards with actions and phrases that are likely to come up during family gatherings. The first person to get Bingo lets everyone know by group text.
Well, that’s all I’ve got. Please feel free to comment with more tips for folks trying to make it through the holidays with their sanity intact.