Frustrated By Family During The Holidays? How To Deal With This
You’re excited about the holidays. The bright lights, the snow on the ground, Christmas carols, and holiday movies. But you’d be lying if you didn’t admit to yourself that you’re also pretty anxious and stressed as well. You love your family, but there’s also a lot of them, which also comes with a lot of opinions about things.
You already know that some of these conversations will leave you feeling frustrated, angry, and tense. Not exactly similar to that warm, fuzzy feeling you’re supposed to have during this time of the year. Here’s how to deal with family frustrations during the holidays.
Don’t Dwell on the Past
Why are you worried about something going wrong during the holiday with your family? Did something happen in the past that left you feeling uneasy or nervous? If that’s the case, it’s understandable to be a little hesitant about getting together with the family again. That being said, try to leave the past in the past. We know this can be easier said than done, but try to be a little more optimistic about the situation. If you go into any experience with negativity, it’s hard to feel good about it. Try to think of the good experiences which will help you be more positive about getting together.
Practice Your Responses
If you are worried about potential conversations or topics that may come up when your family gets together, you can plan ahead for them so you’re ready. Practice your responses to some of those comments or topics. This will help take your emotion out of your responses, which can also help reduce any tension surrounding the interaction. Practicing won’t make it perfect, but it will help you feel a little better before going into the family holiday.
Take Frequent Breaks
If you have a long day at work filled with never-ending emails, projects, and meetings, you may try to find some time in your day to go to the bathroom, make lunch, or step away from your desk. You need to take a break to mentally recharge and regroup before getting back to your work.
The same can happen when you are surrounded by loved ones. Getting together with your entire family can be mentally and physically draining. You can better control your thoughts and emotions if you allow yourself to take some breaks during the day. Leave the room and grab a drink of water. Go for a walk outside. Or go into a different room and take a few deep breaths.
Monitor Your Alcohol Intake
During the holidays, you’re more likely to drink alcohol at get-togethers or gatherings. If you’re using alcohol as a way to reduce your stress, you should rethink that next drink. Drinking is a short-term solution to your problems. In fact, drinking can actually lead to worsening a situation. Those drinks may cause you to say and do things that you wouldn’t normally do if you were sober. Make sure you’re monitoring your alcohol intake and are aware of your limits during the holidays.
Boundaries may seem harsh, but they’re actually necessary for any type of healthy relationship, even for your family members. It’s perfectly acceptable to put your needs first. Boundaries can include things relating to physical, emotional, time, sexual, intellectual, and material. Establish boundaries for yourself and let your family members know beforehand. For example, if you don’t want to talk about a certain topic, let your family members know. If they don’t respect that wish, remove yourself from the situation.
Seek Professional Help
Seeking help from an unbiased third party like a therapist can be a great way to talk about your thoughts and feelings. A therapist can be a great support system for you before you go on your family holiday. They’ll be able to work with you and help you determine coping strategies you may not have thought of.
You should enjoy your holidays and not be weighed down by stress and anxiety. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for anxiety therapy.