The holidays can be a wonderful thing. Personally, I love the idea of being with family and celebrating Chanukah, but when I’m actually with them, my feelings change. I feel out of place and overwhelmed and like I don’t fit in. I ask myself: “how can I stop myself from spiraling downwards?”
Find one person you can talk with. For me, I’m one of the youngest cousins and it’s hard to break into the group. By finding one cousin, they can bring me into that group. It makes me feel wanted. But, when I feel overwhelmed, I’ll single out a cousin outside of the group or an aunt or uncle who I can talk one on one with until I’m less overwhelmed. Using your phone as a crutch is alright, but I found that you’ll continue having feelings that you don’t want to feel.
While these people might be your family, it isn’t blood that makes you family; it’s loyalty. You’ll see them for the holidays, but then you’ll go home and return to your normal life. If you can’t stand a family member, stay away from them. I know for me, as an LGBTQ+ teen, I stay away from the relatives that are homophobic so I don’t get too anxious or depressed.
Just know your limits and that you’ll get through it. As frustrating as it is, just know that there are people who always are out there rooting for you.
Do you have someone to confide in if you go home for the holidays? What do you do to cope if you’re feeling overwhelmed during the holiday season?