Dec. 3, 2019

E13 How to survive the holidays with trauma

In this episode I talk about the five keys to surviving the holidays, how to set boundaries with family and friends, and why it's OK to say no!


Send in a voice message:

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
YouTube Channel podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Overcast podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge
Amazon Music podcast player badge
Stitcher podcast player badge
Goodpods podcast player badge

In this episode I talk about the five keys to surviving the holidays, how to set boundaries with family and friends, and why it's OK to say no! --- Send in a voice message:

Support the Podcast: Become a listed sponsor!

Follow me on Instagram @MichaelUnbroken

Learn more about coaching at

Get your FREE copy of my #1 Best-Selling Book Think Unbroken:


There are two ways we can approach the holiday season: One is with a feeling of dread and remorse. The other with conviction and determination. I'm guessing you didn't see that coming. Each year we come together with family and friends, many of whom we don't care to see, and yet we do it anyway. Why? What is it that makes us feel obligated to be around people who make us feel angry, upset, hurt, and unseen? Is it our childhood trauma rearing its ugly head, or is it the societal pressures we feel because "family is everything"?

This holiday season, I want you to think about what is in YOUR best interest and yours alone. Don't allow anyone to dictate your experiences, not the kids, your partner, Uncle Bob, and that weird-ass cousin that you can't stand who always hugs you for too long. This year it's about you. So how do you deal with family during the holidays as someone with CPTSD, mental health issues, or a run-of-the-mill unsunny disposition? You set boundaries and stick to your fucking guns!

5 ways to survive the holidays with CPTSD and Trauma

What does it mean to set boundaries for family and friends for the holidays? Ultimately this is something that you have to decide based on what you need and how you feel, but here are some ideas:

  1. You no NOT have to hug anyone, especially that creepy cousin. No rule says you must embrace people that you see once a year for 2 hours. Take up your agency and say no.

  2. Just because someone else is doing it doesn't mean that you have to. This means that in times of "let's do a shot" or "everyone else is going to play" that you say no if you don't want to.

  3. If people are talking shit, then leave. Anyone being intentionally hurtful or unkind is not someone that you should have to be around. In these instances, I hereby permit you to tell them to fuck off and to bail! I think there is something to be said about people being too sensitive, but that's for you to decide. It seems that during the holidays' everything from politics to sex comes up at the dinner table, and you don't have to be a part of that conversation if you don't want to.

  4. Just say NO. The number one boundary you can create this holiday season with family and friends is to tell them no. You have zero obligation to do anything that you don't want to do. That is a part of the human experience, and if you are reading this right now, then you are lucky enough to be somewhere in the world where NO is a complete sentence. You can say no without explanation.

  5. You have to be your advocate for your mental health. If you want to make it through any worse case, comedy filled catastrophe that is family gatherings during the holidays; then you have to hold strong to what you know is right for you.

How do conviction and determination play into keeping your mental health intact during the holidays? It's simple; you are going to need both.

Now, pass the stuffing.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.