Pt 2- Dealing with stressful family drama during the holidays
Last week, we began discussing how to deal with stressful family drama during the holidays. This week, we’re delving into more helpful strategies to not just survive this holiday season with family, but actually enjoy your time spent with them.
Find reasons to be grateful
Try shifting your thoughts this season by focusing on what you’re grateful for. Doing so can lift your mood. You can choose to find the positives in anything. Whether it’s gratefulness from being with family that you haven’t seen in a while, a new addition to the family, delicious food and traditions, having a home to live in, or even the beautiful weather. Focusing on the positives of being around your family this season will make the negatives seem less significant, likely resulting in you enjoying yourself more.
Be at Peace & Accept
The holidays are expected to be a time filled with gratitude and peace in our hearts and minds. Ironically, too often is it filled with pressure, anxiety, and frustration. Pressure, anxiety, and frustration of preparing food, traveling, giving the perfect gift, having your home look perfect, having everyone get along, and just having everything go smoothly. It’s best to accept that not everything will go as planned and to be at peace with it. Accept who your family members really are and accept that you cannot change them. Accept that you can’t control everything they say. Accept that there may be some friction and understand that where there are a group of individuals, there will be differing opinions. With all that could possibly happen, the day can still be beautiful. Accept the spontaneity and the mess. After all, picture-perfect holidays only exist in Christmas movies.
Shorten your stay
Perhaps you’ve considered this option before, but the feelings of guilt and obligation were too overwhelming. Your decision to spend time with family shouldn’t be led by a sense of obligation or guilt. If being with family for long periods of time is something that you can’t handle, then don’t. Consider shortening your stay. Deciding to shorten your stay doesn’t mean you don’t care about your family, but that you care about your mental well-being. Only you know when you can’t take anymore and only you are obligated to your own happiness.
Remember that you can’t control how anyone acts. You can only control your actions. Changing your mindset and properly strategizing is the key to having a happier holiday.
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