A Quick Holiday Safety Check

John McManamy Health Guide
  • A quick reminder: This time of year can be especially stressful for us. Being alone can be bad enough. Being around family in some cases can even be worse. Getting along with people you ordinarily wouldn’t have in your life can always be a challenge, but to make things worse, your Uncle Ernie is bound to get in his two cents about that Duck Dude.


    It seems everyone has an opinion.


    Recall Uncle Ernie shooting off his big fat mouth at the table last year? This year, it’s going to be a lot worse.


    So, a quick safety check: It’s okay to bail out of Christmas. We are a vulnerable population. We get stressed. We get overwhelmed. We're sensitive to triggers.

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    On top of that, family members are expert in making us feel like outsiders. They’re the ones, after all, who know exactly which of our buttons to push. Feel free to say a firm NO to all that. This may be a good day for you to curl up at home with a book, instead. 


    If you do find yourself attending a family gathering: Try to find an adult you can relate to and gravitate to that person. If you can’t find an adult, find a kid. Kids are a lot more fun, anyway.


    If you do find yourself within earshot of Uncle Ernie, or - for that matter your domineering mom or manipulative sister or that well-meaning cousin who thinks you only need to read The Secret in order to bring success into your life - please don’t get drawn into the conversation. Just respond, “I’m going to check the turkey in the oven,” and head out the front door.


    Speaking of which: The front door is your friend. It’s okay to chill out on your own.


    One more note on front doors: When you enter, make sure you enter with a smile. Look as if you’re glad to see everyone. Even say a nice word to Uncle Ernie.


    Finally: Who knows? You actually might enjoy yourself.


    To the entire bipolar community here at HealthCentral: Have a happy and safe one ... 

Published On: December 23, 2013