Even though the holidays are a hard-earned chance to relax towards the end of the year and get some time off work, they can produce additional stress and anxiety for people who are concerned about spending greater time with their family.
Family members during the holidays can cause a lot of issues with establishing boundaries and carrying on traditions or creating new traditions. Several tips that can help you to keep the peace with your family members include:
- Don’t be sensitive. Don’t take everything personally as this can lead to unnecessary issues with your loved ones.
- Prepare your balancing act. You’ll need to balance time, particularly if you’re married, between your family and your spouse’s family. Establishing traditions and clear boundaries can be extremely helpful. It is often both important to include time to spend around family as well as away from family. Don’t allow one family to occupy all of the time.
- Take a break when necessary. Make sure that you don’t take time just for both sides of the family, but also to consider time for yourself. Reading a book, going for a run, stepping outside or taking a bath are a couple of ways you can step away from family drama.
- Avoid political debates. Even though family members can discuss difficult topics like religion and politics, the holidays often enhance the potential for disagreements. The holidays are not the right time to engage in political debates. So leave them to the candidates.
- Look for the good in everyone. When you can look for the good in each one of your family members, you will be less likely to lash out and get frustrated with their behavior if it rubs you the wrong way. Try to focus on thinking about one to two good things about every person in your family and this will keep your mind off any frustrating events.
If it’s difficult to bring up tough subjects like estate planning, religion, or politics, these may need to be tabled for the future.