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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Being with family for the holidays can be challenging for many people. We see images of happy families in ads, TV programs, and movies, which can leave us feeling that something is wrong with us or our families if our family doesn't measure up to these happy images. However, the holidays can be very stressful, especially if we have unrealistic expectations of our familiies or ourselves.

Home for the Holidays
Rather than putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and your family, here are a few tips to help you during these holiday get togethers:

  • Try to keep the day light. Steer clear of topics that might be contentious or that could cretate tension. This is not the time to debate politics if you know the discussion will become heated.
  • Try to have reasonable expectations of friends and family. If Uncle Bob tends to be grouchy at family gatherings, there's no reason to expect that his personality will change this year.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. Alcohol tends to amplify emotions and if you drink excessively, you might find yourself saying and doing things at the family gathering that you might regret.
  • Don't take the bait if a relative becomes difficult. Try not to personalize his or her behavior.
  • Plan in advance.  If you know in advance that a family gathering will be difficult, "book end" the visit by planning in advance to talk to a trusted friend or loved one before and after the visit so you feel supported.
  • Do keep in mind the meaning of the holiday. So, for instance, Thanksgiving is a day to acknowledge all that we have to be grateful for.
Home for the Holidays
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR therapist, and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with individuals and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at 212 726-1006.

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

photo credit: Scott Ableman via photopin cc

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