How to survive awkward holiday events like a pro.

Five ways to survive the holidays

For some, the “most wonderful time of the year” may be the most uncomfortable time of the year. Are you the butt of the joke at family dinners? Do those dinners get more heated than the overcooked Thanksgiving turkey that your mother insists you finish? Do your coworkers choke on their spiked hot chocolate from laughing too hard at your (self-proclaimed) iconic Rudolph-printed tie? Well, have no fear… Benovate is here! With these tips your holidays will be easier than Sunday morning.

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1.  Be Reasonable with Your Expectations

Now, be honest with yourself. Are your siblings going to gang up on you? Will your coworkers make jokes at your expense? Probably. If these are common occurrences during get-togethers, the holidays probably won’t change that. Be realistic about what could happen, that way you won’t be disappointed or caught off guard if they happen again. It’s better to come in prepared for those kind of situations. That being said, don’t be a pessimist; after all, nobody likes a Grinch.

2.  Don’t Overdo it on the Alcohol

Instead of stress-crying into a plate of food, some people turn to alcohol to help them cope with the stress of being at awkward holiday gatherings. When emotions are high and things get tense, turning to that $14.99 bottle of vodka your boss …generously… provided may not be the best idea. Having a few drinks may be a good way to let off some steam and give you a social buzz, but it’s imperative that you don’t use that gag-worthy rail whiskey as a coping mechanism, because that’s when things may get out of hand. Too much of your mom’s weird Pinterest recipe punch could make you more susceptible to embarrassment, which will always carry over into the next day, whether in the form of a painful hangover or awkward tension between you and your family or colleagues.

3.  Smile and Nod

It’s happened to all of us; we’re bombarded with questions or topics that cause us to flare up faster than a bowl of mashed potatoes is eaten at Thanksgiving dinner. Especially at family gatherings, it’s easy to lose your temper when confronted, and while it may seem satisfying in the moment to put your cousin Susie in her place for sticking her nose in your love life, it can ultimately cause unwanted tension and drain you. To spare yourself unnecessary fighting and an even more uncomfortable situation, just smile, nod, and let the conversation fizzle out. Allowing yourself to do so will keep confrontation and tension at the minimum.

4.  Bring an Ally

What’s worse than your mom’s Christmas egg salad? Eating it alone, or with people that make you feel alone. Having someone at a holiday gathering to support you is crucial for your mental well-being. Someone who knows your family dynamic or the juiciest drama between your coworkers is perfect; they understand the situation and can give you a shoulder to lean on when things get rough. Whether they’re a significant other, a best friend, or maybe even a stranger you paid to be your date, your holidays will be better with them around for support.

5.  Take a Break

A helpful tip on when you feel out of your element at social gatherings is to take some time for yourself. Whether that’s going on a run before Christmas dinner or sitting on the toilet for an hour getting yourself together, it’s helpful to take a deep breath, relax, and evaluate the situation. Sometimes taking a few minutes (or hours) can help you destress; after all, it’s much easier and more beneficial to take a breather when you’re getting frustrated than to mend the tension after a fight.

Awkward work parties or family events can make or break your holidays, but don’t let them break you! With these tips from Benovate, you can survive the holidays without stress-crying, stress-eating, stress-sleeping, or anything in between.

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