Many of us celebrate various holidays this time of year. Often, the holidays give us the opportunity to have some family time with immediate and/or extended family members. For many people more family time = more family stress. People experience more family stress during the holidays for several reasons. Perhaps, old relationship dynamics reemerge, or you have family members acting in a way that you do not approve.

Here are a few tips to help foster some more family fun and hopefully decrease the feuds!

1. Be sure to communicate boundaries.

Communicating boundaries allows everyone to get on the same page and foster understanding if someone becomes upset when boundaries are pushed or ignored.

2. Take a break.

Sometimes the stress of it all is just too much. Remember to give yourself a break when things become overwhelming, so you can reset and enjoy your time with your family…or at least get through the tough moment without making it worse!

3. Manage your own expectations.

Things will never be perfect, and you can only control your own role in different situations. Focusing too much on things being ‘just right’ will get in the way of enjoying the time you have with your family. Remember to give yourself some grace around your own expectations about how things ‘should be’ and enjoy the moment!

4. Grieve loved ones who are no longer with us.

Missing loved ones who are no longer with us is a very normal experience to have during the holiday season. You may encounter a whole range of emotions including joy, sadness, or even a ‘numbness’. Allow yourself to feel those emotions and acknowledge that pain so you can make room for other experiences as well.

Disclaimer: Please note that statements presented via Therapy Thoughts with Groden Outpatient are not intended for treatment purposes. Rather, Therapy Thoughts with Groden Outpatient provide general insight to various topics and subjects. All treatment decisions should be made with your own provider.