How to deal with family at dinner

VERMONT - According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 16.2 million US adults have had at least one major depressive episode and approximately 24% of people with a diagnosed mental illness find that the holidays make their condition “a lot” worse. Even without a history of mental illness, many find that the holidays bring as much stress as they do joy. People and their families often set their expectations too high and then feel disappointed and inadequate when the season falls short. Face it: Not everyone’s life plays like a Hallmark channel movie.
Dr. Frank Anderson, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and author of “Transcending Trauma: Healing Complex PTSD With Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy,” offers four tips that will help people survive the holidays:
Accept imperfection. Before any gathering, accept that the event might not go exactly as planned. Imperfection is a normal, healthy part of life.
Flush out family drama. Don’t take on their drama. Differentiate what is personal drama from what is theirs and remember what is truly important.
Prepare an emotional exit plan. If at an event with unwanted relatives, take a walk when starting to feel triggered. If hosting the party, designate a room that is off limits to take a break.
Last, have a little treat. Everyone deserves a little luxury, especially during the holidays. Have a favorite meal or get a massage. Whatever the activity is, do it often during the holidays.

The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

Phone: 802-464-3388
Fax: 802-464-7255

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