The holiday season is all about spending time with the people you love most. And a stress-free family holiday is one of the most desirable. Yet, many people become emotionally overwhelmed by the holidays at the mere thought of meeting up with their families. What should be a special time filled with laughter, cheer, and happiness is often disrupted by differences in personalities and unresolved issues. Not to mention a few alcoholic drinks that take things to a whole new level of drama.

In most cases, it’s not everyone in your family that you’re trying to avoid. Ultimately, skipping out on the invite would be more punishment for you than the people who cause the problems. Luckily, there are some things you can try to reduce the stress, cope with difficult relatives, and still have a fantastic time at holiday gatherings.

Ways to Stress-Free Family Holiday

Continue reading for advice.

You Can’t Control It All

You Can’t Control It All

You can’t control how your family will act at these gatherings. Believing that you can do so will only cause more frustration. Instead, it is best to remember what you can control, which is how you respond or react to their behavior. If a problematic family member or friend starts drama, have means to cope that don’t add fuel to the fire. You could go into another room, change the subject, or ignore the comments and behavior altogether.

Meditation Works Wonders

Before, during, and after the family gathering, practice meditation. Meditating before the holiday gathering gives you a peaceful beginning. If things start getting out of hand during the event, find a quiet place to meditate for a few minutes to calm your nerves. Finally, meditate before bed, so you don’t go to sleep with any stress or anxiety lingering in your mind.

Steer Clear of Drugs or Alcohol

Steer Clear of Drugs or Alcohol

It’s not uncommon for people to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with their families during the holidays. Although it may feel like they calm your nerves and provide a sense of euphoria, it’s only temporary. It can actually exacerbate arguments and make it more challenging to deal with your emotions.

Your best bet is to steer clear of unhealthy substances around the holidays. You should also distance yourself if you see that a toxic relative has had too much to drink.  If you regularly turn to such vices to cope with family drama, it may be worth finding the right detox centers in Miami or other cities in Florida to get effective treatment.

Bring Someone You Enjoy

If you tend to frequent family gatherings alone, perhaps you would do better by bringing someone whose company you enjoy along. Whether it’s your significant other or best friend, they can be your calm in the middle of the storm. They can help talk you down when you’re feeling rattled or just listen if you need to vent. In some instances, your relatives may be on their best behavior because someone outside of the family is present.

Schedule Your Time Wisely

Schedule Your Time Wisely

If one or two family members really get under your skin during the holidays, you can always schedule your visit around their availability. For instance, if your mom is having dinner at her place, you could go an hour early before your crazy cousin shows up. You could also ask her to let you know once they’ve left for the evening and go over for late dinner or dessert. If you’re the host this year, you can keep toxic relatives off the list or schedule them to come when other conflicting relatives aren’t present to keep the drama to a minimum.

As much as you love your family and want to spend time with them during the holidays, your mental health and sanity must come first. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the family drama that could take place this year, use the suggestions above to try and minimize the tension. Other than that, focus on the good things, stick with the relatives that make you happy, and remember what the holiday season is all about.

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