As a therapist, you have probably helped many of your patients reconnect with family members they do not want to see during the holidays. It is a different story when you, yourself, are dealing with the same thing. In order to enjoy your holiday season, it is important to listen to the advice that you give to your patients and try to be at ease with your relatives during a happy occasion.

How Can You Abandon Previous Perceptions of Relatives During the Holidays?

Life coach and owner of Optix Communications, Olecia Christie, says to remember that people change all the time. Just like you may not be the person you were last year or even last month, the same may be true for your relatives. Families constantly evolve depending on growing up and experiences like surviving a tragedy, loss, or other challenging circumstances. Keep an open mind with your family to accept them for who they are now instead of who they were.

How Can You Control How You Spend Your Time and With Whom?

Licensed marriage and family therapist, Ibinye Osibodu-Onyali, believes there are some family members that you can spend time with in small doses and others to avoid completely. Some relatives are willing to put aside their issues during the holidays. If you have relatives that refuse to be civil with you, it is best to stay away from them to avoid any altercations or negativity. Holidays are about love and gratitude and any relative that is not willing to give that to you should keep their distance.

What is the Best Way to Establish Boundaries?

No one is required to tolerate abuse or humiliation. That means if someone is yelling at you or sending you degrading comments, it should not be tolerated. If you feel like your boundaries are being pushed, do not be afraid to remove yourself from the situation and find something else to do. Maybe you can volunteer at a homeless shelter or go to the park where you will feel more at ease. The point is that no one should stop you from having a good time during the holidays. While therapists are here to help their patients, you can help yourself during the holidays by being civil around your relatives. 

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