If you answered “C,” take some comfort in being a member of the majority. There are plenty of nice things about family gatherings, but they can cause real tension, too. For example:
- “Did I get enough [food/wine/towels]?”
- “Will _______ ask again if I am getting [married/divorced/a job]?
- “Will _______ ask why I didn’t use their recipe for [stuffing/greens/apple pie/turkey]?”
- And everyone’s favorite, “Did they really need to bring [the dog/Uncle So-and-So/vacation photos]?
4 Steps to Limit Holiday Stress
There are no magic bullets for holiday stress, but these simple tips may prepare you for the usual glitches and family dynamics:
- Make a plan. Begin preparing now on how to deal with sensitive issues.
- Manage your expectations. Don’t try to recreate a Norman Rockwell painting in your dining room.
- Learn to say no. Then actually say it.
- Use resources/supports and delegate tasks. Don’t prepare your home and cook for a big crowd all by yourself.
Need a bit more help to deal with tension? Join us next Wednesday, November 13, at 7 p.m. at the Long Island Marriott in Uniondale for “Enjoying Stress-Free Holidays.” Snack on healthy refreshments while Joseph Diamond, MD, director of nuclear cardiology at LIJ Medical Center, and I help you understand triggers of holiday stress and effective ways to manage the pressure. Each $20 ticket includes entry into our gift basket raffle.