How to Deal With Difficult Family During the Holidays

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thanks travel Expected to return to within 5 percent of 2019 levels, AAA predicts More than 54 million people are traveling for the holidayAn increase of 80 percent over the previous year. This year – perhaps more so than in years past – the issue of holiday travel is particularly interesting.

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Thanks to two major overlapping events – the pandemic and the 2020 presidential election – the past two years have seen a lot of families and loved ones Getting out of Irreconcilable Differences About Politics Or complaints related to covid, While some relationships ended abruptly (Cornell University professor Carl Pilmer found that “About 25 percent of the population is living with active estrangement“- the equivalent of about 70 million people in the US), my suspicion is that many of those traveling to see loved ones are going through a difficult holiday season together.

As someone with a history of family dynamics (no matter the season), the issue of holiday travel has always been far from stress-free and effortless, and I often spend vacations on the East Coast waiting for another shoe to drop. . (It always did.)


After much therapy, I am now exercising enough at the borders to travel strictly on my own terms. that said, now that we all have vaccines and Relative decline in Covid-casesMany people will travel back home and go straight down the road to exhausting relationships.Even if it’s not the most emotionally uplifting option,

A Google search for “holiday survival guide” yields more than 36 million results, which suggests there’s no shortage of people worried about navigating the weather and coming out on the other end psychologically. In reporting for NPR, Julia Furlan sums it up well: “There are a lot of people who have a well-known pit in their stomach when the holidays come. The holidays can mean exhaustion, experiencing family trauma, managing your uncle’s opinion, and all kinds of overload. can.”

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In honor of those for whom the holidays are a predictable slog, I’ve compiled a short list of YouTube channels, audiobooks, and podcasts that are a must for anyone returning home to challenging dynamics of their own this season.

2 YouTube Channels With a Focus on Mental Health

Clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula is the author of three books, including: Don’t You Know Who I Am?: How to Stay Healthy in an Age of Complacency, Entitlement, and Incompetence And Should I stop or go? Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist, He specializes in self-defense and toxic family dynamics, among other areas. His The channel has almost one million subscribers, and its content is a salve for anyone in need of emotional validation during the holidays.

“There is a mythology around family unconditional. We were taught that lesson since we were kids,” Durvasula said during an interview. “You can see images in society or friends coming together during holidays, or Do not see advertisements of mixed groups of individuals coming together. Single family paganism is a real problem and keeps people trapped.” With a focus on the material “Vacation Hygiene for Dealing with Alcoholic Family Members” And “Dr. Ramani’s Holiday Survival GuideDurvasula’s YouTube channel serves as an encyclopedia to toxic relationships and how to navigate them.

medcircle, with 1 million subscribers, is another binge-worthy channel for anyone who enjoys listening to mental health content while on long trips. The channel says it updates its content every week, offering interviews with world-class psychiatrists and psychologists.

Both of these channels have accompanied me on long trips home, and they provide abundant tools for navigating difficult relationship dynamics.

2 Best Selling Audio Books

Lindsey Gibson, a clinical psychologist based in Virginia, is the author of the best-selling self-help book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from a Remote, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parent, Her expertise includes helping her clients navigate the difficulties resulting from an “EIP,” or “emotionally immature parent.”

“Emotionally immature people are not very egotistical, self-engaged, self-reflective, and they don’t respect boundaries. They are quite impressionable,” Gibson said during an interview. his audiobook available on amazon And perfect for long drives or flights. It comes complete with a road map for identifying and detaching from emotionally immature people—a perfect vacation crash course for anyone who needs it.

audiobook The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Boston-based psychotherapist Bessel van der Kolk, is another great road or sky companion for anyone who is interested in how trauma shapes the body and brain, and how to recover from it.

I have read and gifted both of these books to friends who have experienced psychological abuse at the hands of close relationships and have struggled to overcome it.

2 podcasts for the wellness junkie

Paul Cross is a licensed therapist who instructs trauma informed counseling center Grand Rapids, Michigan. his podcast, intentional doctor, boasts 75 episodes of informative talks covering psychology and philosophy with various health professionals. his work recently is featured on PBS.

I asked Krauss about the nature of her work with clients, especially during the holidays. “The holidays are often a busy time for therapists,” he said in an email. “Many clients suffer from an urge to feel obligated to spend time with certain family members, or they may ask for additional appointments around the holidays. In general, the holidays can be a time of mental health crisis for many people. can.”

with focus on episodes contribution, substance use disorder, chronic pain, Worry and other topics, listeners can browse through it all or find specific episodes relevant to their own issues.

Finally, the podcast unlock us, hosted by best-selling author Brene Brown, offers an in-depth discussion of topics including relationships, courage, shame, stress and irritation. Her podcast is a must-listen for anyone who needs a reminder about how to cope with relational stress and conflict this holiday season.

While I can’t say that the YouTube videos, audiobooks, and podcasts I’ve enjoyed have ever successfully adapted my own vacation experiences into Hallmark specials, it’s comforting to know that people can use those situations, scenarios, and difficulties. What I (mistakenly) were talking about were supposedly unique to my personal circumstances. It’s perhaps more difficult than ever now that relationships with loved ones—for many people—are akin to walking on eggshells. If holiday travel is a must for difficult family viewing, these resources can help you prepare.

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