Going home for the holidays is easier for some of us than others. Whether we have difficult families or come from towns with politics we’ve long outgrown, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve for surviving the holidays in your hometown.
The holidays are stressful. There's no denying it. But there are ways to deal with the ridiculousness of heading back to your hometown, dealing with family (or your in-laws), or traveling, and we want to help. This week, we have The Holiday Survival Guide that will guide you through the things that will help get through the holidays.
Books To Escape, Pathologize & Find Your Center
If you’re feeling melancholy and reclusive, My Year of Rest and Relaxation is a page-turning and darkly funny novel that indulges your most extreme recluse fantasies. The Last Black Unicorn is a hilarious read by comedian Tiffany Haddish — as messed up as your childhood was, hers was probably tougher, and she can still laugh about it. If you just need a compulsive novel that will last an entire trip, A Little Life should do the trick, even if you find yourself hate-reading it by the end because literally everything that goes wrong for a protagonist does in this book — but hey, your life could be worse!
If you have the great pleasure of being an unmarried or childless-by-choice woman who gets grief from her family over the holidays, Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free and Motherhood will both provide great ammunition and reaffirm that you’re not the crazy one.
Speaking of which, if your family is particularly dysfunctional, you might find it cathartic to read about that too. Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, and The Drama of the Gifted Child are both perfect for armchair diagnosing your childhood, while Anger: Wisdom For Cooling The Flames and The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving Kindness provide accessible Buddhist alternatives to coping with difficult feelings while home for the holidays.
Travel-Ready Stress Relief
Having some stress-relief aids on-hand while in your hometown is key — who cares if they’re partially placebo if they work? These CBD Stress Blend Capsules are legal to take anywhere in the U.S., and while they won’t get you high, they do give you the benefits of CBD, at least. Aromatherapy is also effective: these upcycled-bottle soy wax candles are infused with the finest-quality fragrance oils and are called “Compassion Candles,” which is a useful reminder for both yourself and your family (just know you have to check your bag if you’re bringing a candle; I learned that lesson the hard way). This little Essential Oil Wall Plug In allows you to easily travel with a stress-relieving diffuser, and the Komuso necklace, designed to remind you to take long, deep breathes into it, might also be a good gift to get yourself.
Hacks To Keep You Healthy
It’s also important to treat yourself while home for the holidays strategically. If alcohol is your poison, Just the Wine drops help remove sulfites and prevent hangovers (I’ve found charcoal pills also help after a night of drinking, sometimes). Taking some oregano oil and other immune-boosting supplements will also help you prevent coming down with a cold after all that travel and booze. And of course, chocolate is also key to survival: this ethical chocolate bark is perfect for gifting to family (and then gnawing on yourself all week).
While you should allow yourself to indulge while home for the holidays, maintaining some consistency with your health is also a good way to feel in control while you’re being triggered left and right. If you’re trying to stick to a healthier diet while home, signing up for an affordable meal planning service with live-chat support can help you stay on track and feel less alone, as can traveling with this portable TRX home system, which you can use to exercise without even having to leave your childhood bedroom.