One of the issues that comes with the holidays is making everyone happy by attending ALL family gatherings. But how do you do that if they conflict with each other? Answer: YOU CAN'T!
The phrase in the above paragraph that needs to jump out at you is "making everyone happy". That's an impossibility most of the time but especially during this time of year. If you can accept that you can't make EVERYONE happy, then the goal changes. How can I participate in the events and gatherings that make ME happy? Sound selfish? It is a bit but I prefer to call it self-care (another blog topic coming soon).
So evaluate all the parties, dinners, etc. that are happening and honestly look at where you want to be. Who are the people who support you, care about you, encourage you? Make spending time with those folks a priority. Of course you may need to compromise. You can have Thanksgiving dinner with one set of relatives (the folks that you really want to be with) but have dessert with another (a shorter time with difficult ones). Suggest a Christmas breakfast with the folks that have addiction problems (they'll be more sober in the morning) but Christmas dinner with family members and friends that are healthy and fun.
As I suggested in my first holiday blog, you need to plan ahead here and think outside of what's "always" been done. That's a land mind issue, "this is our tradition, we’ve ALWAYS done it this way." To become a healthy human, we must embrace change and become resilient. Some folks in your life won't like what you're doing. That's OK. Better to feel a little discomfort now than a whole lot of resentment later.
Ann Foster, MTS, LCPC, CADC, CMAT, CDWF
President ~ Executive Director