Surviving Holidays with the In-laws and More
I have already begun working with many of my clients on how to manage the holidays, which feels to most far from any sort of true relaxing holiday. Besides the fact that time gets shorter, money gets tighter, and energy gets zapped, the family also comes together. And some of this family does not even feel like yours? The in-laws are coming. The intensity and anxiety are increasing. The stress in your love relationship is driving you crazy. What can you do?
Here is a short list of how to not only survive the holidays with the in-laws but also to improve your relationship with your spouse and the extended family:
1. Limit your alcohol. We all think more clearly and manage our feelings better when sober.
2. Limit your time. Short periods of time together create less tension.
3. Own it. Let your spouse know that out of love and care for your entire family you must admit that you are struggling and need to set limits, not out of anger, but out of preservation.
4. Be creative. Find new resources, support systems, ways to say no.
Jill Boultinghouse, MA, MFT