Healthy Holidays Tip #23: 4 Ways to Avoid Holiday Squabbles
For many people, the holidays mean spending time with family… whether they like it or not. If getting along with your family during the holidays is a challenge there are certain things you can do to make spending time with family easier on everyone. These tips from Sharecare experts can help you have a happier family holiday.
1. Be realistic
You might be dreaming of the perfect holiday with the perfect family, but your dreams might not match your reality. “So often we set ourselves up for disappointment by romanticizing what our experience will be. We picture ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ when our family is more like the Griswolds in ‘Christmas Vacation,’” says John Berkowitz of TherapyLiveCare. If your family members are not perfect (and whose are?) try to accept them for who they are, not who you would like them to be.
2. Stay flexible
Not everything is always going to go as planned. If there are unexpected bumps in the evening try to “remain flexible and open to changes with the best laid plans,” says Marchell Coleman of TherapyLiveCare. Who knows? A change in plans could lead to a more pleasant visit.
3. Focus on the positive
Do your best to focus on the positive aspects of the time you spend with your family. Chances are they are not all bad. As Robert Rozsay of TherapyLiveCare says, “Remember you’re stuck with them, and if you try to focus on the their good points you might actually like them.” If finding something positive about your family proves too difficult, focus on something else positive, such as a good meal.
4. Side step sticky subjects
Don’t bring up subjects that might be controversial or might elicit strong responses. Stuck in an awkward situation? Dr. Sheila Dunnells of MDLiveCare suggests you know when to walk away. “Choose not to get involved in unpleasant conversations,” Dunnels says. “Change the subject, walk out of the room, make a phone call… Do something to keep away from toxic people and toxic topics.”
Need to talk to someone? Sharecare has partnered with TherapyLive Care to provide online support. From now until the end of December, eight Sharecare therapists will be opening their profile page walls to assist you and answer your questions. For more information, check out Jeff Arnold’s blog “Online Therapy.”
File under: Healthy Holidays