Spending time with our families during the holidays can be a source of great joy—but it can be difficult, too. Our most dysfunctional relationships tend to flare up at this time of year, which is often compounded by mental health and substance abuse issues. How can we set aside our expectations and focus on our needs?
Everyone has a choice in their relationships and interactions, even within families. Guilt and shame are common feelings that fuel unhealthy dynamics. You can break the cycle by identifying what isn’t working and deciding what you want for your life. This might involve making decisions that others don’t like, and that’s okay. With them, try to focus on the healthy traditions in your family that are worth maintaining.