Health

4 tips on surviving your family this holiday

November 22, 2018
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My dad is a real jerk.

He, like too many Black parents, thinks that the way he talks to me is appropriate regardless of the tone. This includes emotional and verbal abuse that persists through my shrunken demeanor and stream of tears. This, he believes, isn’t indicative of the emotional violence he visits upon me, but of my crybaby antics and “Bette Davis” acting skills, gas lighting me to the best of his ability. So when it comes time for us to be all buddy-buddy and celebrate the holidays, I’ve been fortunate enough to have my mother’s side there for me to embrace me whenever I need them. I know this is a huge privilege and far from the norm for a dysfunctional family. But I know how it feels to be beat down by people who are supposed to love, support, and uplift you and this Thanksgiving I want to be there for you to tell y’all to FUCK ‘EM. Sound harsh? Well, sometimes it be like that.

Self is the first step in “self-care” and if you can’t take care of your own self, how the fuck are you going to be prepared to help those around you who might be struggling and in need of love too? My estimation is that you can’t. Secure your own air mask, B, before attempting to secure someone else. So, for this Thanksgiving, I want to give you permission to check out of all the tradition and obligatory attendance this year to just focus on yourself and the biggest ally in your corner—you. I give you permission to ditch your ain’t shit family this holiday season. Hell yeah your presence will be missed, but they be aight. And more than that, your mental wellness and overall wellbeing are infinitely more important than celebrating any arbitrary holiday with family that’s too hard to be with for extended periods of time.

1. ONLY COOK FOR ONE

This sounds like a given, but most recipes include hella serving sizes and it’s totally sadder to have food for a dozen people when you’re on your own than it is to cook for one. So be mindful of how much food you’re preparing to help with your sanity.

Feeling charitable? There still might be volunteer activists to participate in this year. Check out your local homeless shelter or any NGOs in your area. Google is your friend. In Atlanta, HOSEA House is always accepting volunteers for their massive event, for example.

The Washington Post has a fairly dope recipe for crockpot turkeys, check it out at your own risk. (add your own seasoning)

2. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Celebrating traditional family holidays without your people can suck ass. But don’t take it too heart. What I mean is that whatever is plaguing you doesn’t have to matter today as much as it does every other day of the year. This might sound counterintuitive on a holiday, but what a better time to vacate your mind and all the filth and bullshit than on a day you don’t have to work or deal? Chill, bro. Take hella baths, turn the lights down low, sip some tea, read your favorite book—anything you want, hunty. I’m a big fan of self-caring with items you already own to avoid making it more expensive than it needs to be. Today isn’t about spending money, it’s about being thankful for the shit you got; so enjoy that!

3. HAVE A FRIENDSGIVING!

No, it’s not too late if your circle of friends are legit. If not, fuck your friends too, and start your own tradition. There’s tons of stuff to do in the city on a holiday. Maybe now’s the time to start your own tradition. Be it ice skating, Chinese food and a movie, or preparing for the winter holidays. Decorate the shit out of your domain. Play video games until your ass is sore. Or beat your face to a glowing, snatched, look. Being thankful for what you have doesn’t mean eating the whole damn house, you know?

4. TREAT IT LIKE ANY ‘OL DAY

Hey, the holiday spirit can be hard to ignore, especially if the day is triggering to you. It’s okay to respect that, too, by not celebrating or acknowledging the day at all, shit. You are in no way obligated to make pretend with something you don’t believe in or what to participate it, ESPECIALLY when its imperialist bullshit, mkay? It’ll be harder to operate around the world today (SHOULD OUT TO ALL THE SERVICE WORKERS ON THE JOB THIS HOLIDAY) but in many places, by evening you’ll be able to keep it movin’. Just make sure you got some grub to snack on, okay, fam?

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