Family stress is a major problem during the holiday season. It can even be a contributing factor to anxiety and depression that many get in the winter months. The best way to deal with family stress is to figure out solutions that can help before you need them.
A lot of family stress occurs because of expectations that we have or that others may have of us. One of the best things that you can do is be realistic of yourself and others. Everyone probably isn’t going to have perfect hair in the yearly picture. If Aunt June has been rude to you for the last twenty years, she probably isn’t going to change her ways this year. You can still enjoy the holidays but don’t expect the unlikely to happen. You will likely be disappointed.
Don’t overstay. Many times, family stress happens if there is too much togetherness. As nostalgic as it sounds to have your whole extended family under one roof, it may actually be the cause of a lot of family stress. Arrange to only go for Thanksgiving dinner or whatever the occasion you are celebrating is. If you are a long ways from home, consider getting a hotel room.
If you are hosting, don’t be afraid to enlist help. If you are going to someone else’s home, be sure to offer to give them assistance. You can actually have a lot of fun visiting while you work. It is also a great way to make good memories together.
One last tip is to remember that the time you are together is really short and temporary.
Family stress during the holidays is not uncommon and happens to most families from time to time. For more help in understanding and dealing with it, you may find this article by The Mayo Clinic helpful.