Ah, Thanksgiving break: a time to temporarily forget about exams and school stress, and focus on unwinding (Binge-watching, here we come!), home-cooked meals, and family.
But, what if going home for Thanksgiving break isn’t as relaxing as you hoped? Sometimes, the transition from college life back to family life can be a rocky one, especially when combined with a big holiday dedicated to extended relatives. If you’re already a little anxious about traveling home for Thanksgiving, read on for a few survival tactics for getting through the break!
Be Firm About Boundaries
Connecting with you parents, grandparents, and everyone in between during Thanksgiving can be great, but just because they all have questions for you, doesn’t mean you have to answer every single one. If you’d rather not go deep into more private topics like your dating life or political leanings, there’s nothing wrong with saying so.
Schedule Time With Friends in Advance
Staying connected with friends from back home is a great way to feel grounded during Thanksgiving break, but just make sure to carve out time to see them before everyone has actually traveled home. This way, you’ll avoid any potential fireworks that might arise from “friend time” overlapping with family time.
Practice a Little Peace, Love, and Understanding
Whether you’re dealing with a politically incorrect grandpa, a nosy aunt who won’t stop asking why you’re still single, or little cousins who want to follow you around everywhere you go, try to get into the spirit of the season and be as understanding as possible. You don’t have to encourage their antics (Remember: boundaries!), but practicing empathy — especially for older relatives and what they’re dealing with — can turn an awkward situation into an opportunity for mutual understanding.
Create a Group Text For Stress Emergencies
If you have a few other friends who are a little anxious about going home for the holiday, get everyone on a group text so you all have a safe space to spill your frustrations.
Soothe With Self Care
Sometimes the craziness of college can really dampen self-care efforts. Take time during your break to treat yourself to a little bit of extra sleep, a manicure, a yoga session, or anything else that makes you feel good!
Speaking of self-care, make sure to pack Abreva in your suitcase before setting off for Thanksgiving Break, as stress can be a trigger for cold sores. If you feel a stress-induced cold sore coming on, only Abreva is able to treat it at the first sign of a breakout (among over-the-counter cold sore products), which means you’ll have one less thing to worry about during your Thanksgiving holiday.