Friday, October 5, 2012


Who's looking forward to turkey, family & friends, the long weekend, and yearly traditions this weekend?

Sometimes the anticipation of a holiday or family get-together can cause people anxiety, depression, and feelings that they don't know how to deal with.  Maybe you're anxious about seeing that Aunt, who always puts pressure on you to get a husband, or maybe your brother in law always drinks too much and ends up embarrassing you.  Sometimes it's just the panic of having so many people in one spot.  Maybe you're dealing with issues that you don't want your family to know about, such as depression or PTSD.

Whatever the case may be, here are some great ways to cope!

  • Do what needs to be done, and don't feel the need to go overboard.  Don't put pressure on yourself to pull off a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving meal for 50 people. 

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help.  Did you promise to bring 3 appetizers and a dessert, and bring activities for the kids to do?  Ask a family member or a friend to come over and help you prepare.

  • Steer clear of overindulging.  Alcohol may cause even more anxiety, and prevent you from doing what you need to.

  • Stay within budget.  Holidays and family get togethers can be expensive enough, so make yourself a budget, and stick to it.  You don't need those fancy napkin rings with your family initials engraved on them!

  • Take time for yourself leading up to the event.  You are important to take care of as well.

  • When others offer to help with clean up, don't shoo them away.  Accept their offer, and you can go to bed without worrying about the massive pile of dishes that you need to do in the morning.  If you're at someone else's home, pick up the sponge and wash or dry.  Even spending time with other's children is a big help to parents.

  • Be respectful of others and their home.  Sometimes putting aside your differences can make for an enjoyable event.

  • Enjoy yourself! 
From all of us at the Distress Centre of Ottawa & Region, we'd like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  What are you thankful for?

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