Take Care of your Mental Health at Christmas Family Reunions

Christmas family reunions can be a source of great stress and frustration. Here we give you some tips for you to follow when sharing with your loved ones this holiday season.

Family preparing christmas dinner

We give you some tips that you can take into account when reuniting with your family this Christmas. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Cuida de tu salud mental en las reuniones familiares navideñas

Normally we associate Christmas with a time of family union and peace and love. But this association is not entirely true and is tied to a marketing strategy that has been used for decades to promote products and services. On the contrary, this time can be frustrating because, like all ties, the family relationship is complex and there can be friction, so Christmas family reunions can be the epicenter of these problems. As a result, our mental health can be affected, so it is important to have tools on hand to take care of it.

Here are some tips that you can take into account when reuniting with your family this Christmas.

Don't romanticize the season

It's okay to have expectations, but it's best to keep them low. Although they have sold us Christmas as the most beautiful season of the year, the truth is that it is like any other season and a few days do not change people, their tastes, their opinions, or their difficulties. Understanding that the time is a reason to meet and share does not mean to assume that problems will be solved or that there will be no discussions. Allow yourself to enjoy the company of your relatives without burdening you that they must meet certain expectations of you, just as you should not meet their expectations.

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Avoid alcohol in excess

It is no secret to anyone that alcohol can bring out the worst in a person. In some cases, we may only meet someone very loving who wants to hug everyone and express their love. But, on many occasions there are problematic situations in which there are arguments, fights, abuse and violence. Keeping a cool head at this time is very important, so we recommend that you avoid drinking too much. Stay calm and watch out for those who may be more vulnerable to heavy drinking or those who may suffer the consequences of others drinking alcohol.

They are people, like you

The frustration that we can feel because a relative does not think the same as us or detracts from what we say and do, can lead to very difficult feelings, such as anxiety. Remembering that they are also people with errors and that they have created their opinion and vision of life from the opportunities they have had, is key so that this frustration does not increase.

Avoid talks in which political issues are brought to the table or that you already know are controversial within your family. Look for conversations that cover topics that coincide, family memories that you know would not be reasons for discussion. Empathy will always be key to be able to deal with these types of situations.

Your mental health comes first

If you have had a very difficult time with your family and you fear that this time will become aggressive and cause you uneasiness regarding your mental health, consider the option of not celebrating Christmas with them. It can be a strong alternative and shock your family, but your mental health comes first. You can share the date with friends or propose to do smaller events that the people with whom you have more friction do not attend. Talk it over with your family beforehand and explain your situation calmly and without making them feel guilty.