Healthy Holiday ideas for dealing with difficult family members

December 1, 2016

Tips to reduce family stress during the holiday season

Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo for the Huffington Post wrote that the holidays often involve spending time with family members.  This can be challenging.  We gather with people with whom we share DNA but sometimes not much else.  Here are some tips to help keep the holidays happy.

  1. Don’t personalize. When negative or passive aggressive comments are made try not to personalize it.  Remember that the negativity is their issue.
  2. Believe in yourself. Regardless of what others do or say about you, understand that this is their opinion and have confidence in your own personal identity.
  3. Be helpful. Look for ideas and ways to divert unpleasant encounters by finding service oriented activities such as helping in the kitchen or with cleaning up.  This also makes you feel good in your positive contribution.
  4. Manage time well. Set parameters for time spent with challenging people.  Make decisions about the length of your visit, declare this in advance and share an honest reason about your need to return home.  Take advantage of your choices to engage in fun outside tourist activities.
  5. Identify “hot spots”. If possible, learn from the past and avoid specific topics that result in conflict such as politics, religion or difficult past events.  Often alcohol consumption can lead to conflict and inappropriate behavior.  This year enjoy a festive non-alcoholic punch or sparkling cider.

Plan ahead for holiday gatherings.  Enjoy the holiday season.  Be Healthy! Be Happy! and power your path to happiness!

Reference: The Huffington Post, December 17, 2015. 5 Holiday tips for dealing with challenging family members.  Online [available at]:   [accessed November 30, 2016].