How to cope with family conflict this holiday season.
Sometimes too much family time can be a bad thing.
Some families delight in the holidays as time spent together can be a joyful and rewarding thing. For others, it is a time of high stress and even high conflict. With the current political climate and people being on opposite sides of many arguments, this holiday season is sure to be laced with more stress and conflict than usual.
Keeping on top of your own mental and emotional health is important this holiday season, as we all know that the saying “You can’t give away that which you do not possess” is very true. Patience, empathy, and acceptance have to be given to yourself first, so that you are able to be more patient and accepting towards others.
As a parent, you are at all times (whether you want to or not!) acting as the all important co-regulator for your children, helping them to regulate their emotions and moods. If you are in a state of high stress from a recent conflict with a family member, your child is reading that stress in your nonverbal communications and will become stressed as well.
Activities such as mindfulness, deep breathing, and taking time to yourself are good ways to decompress during the holidays to keep your stress level low. When you are mellow, your children will be too. The cooler fall weather we have been experiencing offers a welcome escape outdoors and can feel very refreshing after a long day in the office.
Keeping up with your own emotional wellness will help make it that much easier to power through another post-turkey conversation with family members while remaining calm, cool, and collected.
Take a breath, be accepting of your own reactions and feelings, and let empathy be your guide this holiday season.
Having more conflict than usual and worried about the effect on your children? Contact our office to see whether play therapy is appropriate to help your child cope with the family dynamics.
HeadFirst Counseling is a private practice counseling center in Central Dallas offering therapy services to children, teens, adults, and families.