November is a time when people start to either get excited about the holidays or start to feel stressed/anxious about the upcoming holidays. Someone told me recently that they would be expected to spend the holidays at their in-laws again, even though they have a tiny house, they would have to sleep in the basement without proper insulation/heat, and they have a newborn. She did not know what to say or how to deal with this situation. Here are some tips to get you through the holidays if spending time with your family or your extended family is overwhelming and stressing you out. Take a deep breath.
1) Know yourself and how much you can handle. If staying in your in-laws' basement without proper insulation/heat with a newborn is just too much for you, then speak up and talk to your spouse about this situation. You know your limits, so speak to your spouse about how stressed out this makes you. Get on the same page with your spouse so that you can handle your in-laws with a united front. Be sure to stress to your spouse that it's not that you don't want to see them. Feelings can easily be hurt with family.
2) Try to find another solution. If the thought of going to your in-laws again is unbearable, then maybe suggest to host this year. Or perhaps you can stay in a hotel or at a neighbor's home. That way, you are not saying "I don't want to see you all." You are trying to find a solution where you will feel better about your surroundings.
3) Take some time to plan. Sit down with your spouse and make a plan for driving (allowing time for Thanksgiving traffic) and preparing menus in advance so that you aren't doing everything last minute.
4) Take some time for yourself. The beginning of the holiday season is an easy time to feel overwhelmed. Women, especially, often get carried away with lots of "to do's" (like buying gifts, etc). Take some time to focus on yourself. This might include getting your nails done, catching a really good Black Friday sale, or reading a book.