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Family Reunion: 10 tips for dealing with it during the holidays



For many, the Holidays are the best time of the year. The warm sparkle of the fairy lights in the city, the holidays and of course the additional family time let some people feel all the joy.

But for others the holidays can be traumatic. In a time of year when the family is a priority, it can feel incredibly insulating if visiting relatives is simply not an option for you – or, if so, not a safe or welcoming one Environment feels.

Whether you & # 39; If you are completely alienated from your family or have relationships that make your holiday difficult, here are 1

0 tips on how to make this emotionally difficult time of the year.

. 1 In fact, say to yourself, "It's okay to feel angry and hurt."

It's true what they say: the only way out is through. This also applies to silly emotions when it comes to family relationships.

"Humans should be pack animals; We're committed to being connected, "says Gene Beresin, MD, executive director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at the Massachusetts General Hospital, opposite SELF.

If you lose primary relationships with people who should be your caregivers or make some of your closest bonds, it does not just hurt like hell, but the stress you feel about it, especially when amplified by the holidays, can trigger your combat or evasion response, which is essentially the Fall is when your body triggers a hormonal burst that leads to physical symptoms of anxiety such as a beating heart and shortness of breath. "Dr. Beresin, who tries to ignore or castrate those feelings, can only do it make stronger, which can lead to a vicious circle.

If you are the one who has withdrawn from one or more family members, remember that your instinct to protect yourself is valid. If those are the ones who created the distance, you realize how horrible that lack of control can be. In any case, try to accept your feelings instead of fighting them. "The more we are aware of our state of mind and emotions, the more we can find coping mechanisms," says Dr. Berezin. That brings us to our next point.

. 2 Identify at least one reliable coping mechanism that you can use when negative emotions are blowing up.

Only you know what will help you when you are overwhelmed by the sadness or anger of your family situation. Perhaps he writes (but does not send) a letter to an alienated relative, gains some aggression through a quick boxing workout, or engages in meditative meditation . Berezin.

The point is to find out what will help you before you need it. In this way, when triggers such as vacation photos from previous years trigger an onslaught of negative emotions, you do not need to spend valuable monuments to find a healthy coping mechanism. Instead, you can do that energy directly into what you need to make you feel better.

. 3 Find out how to spend the days that matter most to you.

It can be crippling to think about how you want to spend the Christmas or Hanukkah evenings, if you know you are not there family. However, according to Jessy Warner-Cohen, a health psychologist at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, it's important that you have some sort of overview for the big days during the holiday season.

"Any change from your normal routine can be tough, so think about what your game plan will look like," Warner-Cohen tells SELF. "Maybe you are planning some time in the gym, maybe you're doing a volunteer project, but it's important to stay active and deal with things that make [you] feel fulfilled rather than just sitting on your own." [19659015] 4. Delete any social media apps that you believe cause stress during the holidays.

It may be helpful to leave the tech grid a bit and temporarily delete apps that promote negative emotions Berezin. "Be aware of what your triggers are," he says. Will reading negative news on Twitter make you feel like the whole world is awful? Will there be a lot of people who publish family-filled instagramms that cause a crying cry? If your family members meet without you, where will these photos most likely be? Think about it in advance so that the technology will not only increase your emotional burden.

. 5 Make a physical list of all your positive traits.

Warner-Cohen suggests creating a list to remember everything great about you, especially if you have the habit of blaming your family for alienation or difficult relationships. This can be especially helpful if family shutdown is not an option or not essential, but you still fear family time. (Many of the following tips may also be helpful in this situation.)

If you want to spend time with your family as if you were stepping into the lair of a lion, it is important to remember why you love and respect to earn. "It's helpful to have this list there, regardless of what someone says," says Warner-Cohen. Do not just keep the list in mind, as you may leave it empty when you're upset. Write it down or put it on your phone so you can call it up when needed.

. 6 Come up with a script response to keep the conversation out of sensitive areas.

Whether it's unsightly political issues, jabs about you being LGBTQ + slipping remarks about a partner of a different race, or incessant criticism of your life choices, you probably know exactly what your family is could say to upset you. The only good thing is that when you see them, it can help you to prepare.

Find out which conversations you will absolutely not engage in, and some answers that will help you to set your boundaries nicely. For example, if a family member embarrassed you as you knew, you can say something like, "I appreciate your concern, but my weight is my business." Then change the subject. [19659023] If you know that you have at least one ally in these situations, tell them in advance what conversations you are avoiding so they can help you direct the discussion elsewhere, Warner-Cohen suggests.

. 7 Have an apology ready when you need to escape, and consider including younger family members.

"[When you need alone time] offer to go to the grocery store or just take out the trash," says Warner-Cohen. "Personally, I get up and offer dessert help if I do not feel like conducting a particular conversation."

Depending on the specifics, it may help to take along younger family members, Dr. Beresin

"They do not want them to consider the family a war zone," he explains. "When it comes to the people you care about, you need to make the following decisions:" Should I make conflicts, or will I show them a new way of doing things? "So you can take your younger family members with you Say, 'Let's watch a movie, let's play Scrabble.'" That brings you away from the drama and can even help end family conflict cycles.

8. Do not isolate yourself from stigmatization due to family alienation.

If you feel alone, it may be easier to retire from people rather than make yourself vulnerable, but it is important that you do not do more "You need to connect with other people who give you a sense of security and connectedness," says Dr. Beresin. "Expressing yourself and receiving feedback during this time is very important."

Even if You feel like the only person in the world spending time with your family during the holidays – or time with the family but detest every minute – you're absolute Do not Lolly Alone If you talk a little about your family situation with people you trust, you may even realize that they are dealing with similar issues. Contact a therapist before or after the holidays.

Perhaps you already have a therapist who knows exactly how you feel about the upcoming holiday season, in this case, great. Make sure you've discussed your emotions and your game plan with them in advance, and explain how it works.

If you do not have a therapist, but are really struggling with how to handle this holiday season It could be a sign that it may be a good idea to see a psychiatrist . Beresin says his patient load for therapy is always around this time of the year.

It may be difficult to see anyone, especially now, in which case it might be helpful to read the Classic Mental (19459004) health tips that therapists recommend to their patients . If you can then see a therapist, you can find out about the holidays and hopefully have plenty of time to prepare for the next round. Remember that the holidays will not last forever.

"We value the holiday culture, but remember that there are only a few [weeks] of the year," says Warner-Cohen. "Remembering that can help put things in the right perspective."

Granted, dealing with family alienation or harsh family relationships is difficult at all times . But the extra holiday stress, when you feel like you, should be especially happy and close to family members? That is at least temporary.

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