If you are being triggered (experiencing PTSD symptoms), you need to take time for yourself:
1. Go into a quiet room and put some soft music on while you are breathing in deep and releasing it out. Do this several times until your anxiety subsides.
2. Take a walk by yourself while clearing your mind from whatever is triggering you. Re-energize yourself to be able to return to the family feeling relaxed and prepared to face them.
3. If you are unable to leave or get away from a group. Try to sit down and close your eyes while imagining a relaxing place such as a waterfall, trickling down and hitting the rocks gently as the current goes down stream to where you are sitting with your feet in the nice, calm waters. or you may have your own positive imagery to focus on.
4. Maybe having a cup of tea while sitting back watching as others are talking.
5. Thinking of reaffirming statements maybe will help you.
*I am safe the trigger is from the past and no one can hurt me anymore.
*I am in my healing process and am doing fine.
*I love myself and no one can affect my happiness.
6. If your child within surfaces, ask your adult self to comfort her or him by either:
*with positive imagery of the adult hugging and reassuring the child he or she is safe.
*having the adult self holding the child in her or his lap while rocking and comforting the child through the trigger.
*going outside to play with the kids or perhaps joining the children in coloring.
Don't feel guilty if you need to take a break from family to take care of yourself. You are worth it.
If you are able to communicate your needs to your family, do so and follow through on your coping skills. If you are unable to tell them what is going on, then you need to decide if you have coping skills that will help you through the holidays of if you will need to leave earlier than you intended.
I hope that I was able to give you some good suggestions.