Opinion – Successfully Navigating Family Challenges During Christmas

Halifax/Fraser Valley – (Glynis Sherwood Counseling) – The holiday season can be challenging for those of us who have experienced narcissistic family abuse, scapegoating, estrangement or other serious personal losses in our immediate and extended families. Here’s what you need to know to survive – and thrive – during the holidays.

Surviving the Holidays

The holiday season can be challenging for those of us who have experienced family abuse, scapegoating, estrangement or other serious personal losses in our immediate and extended families.  The holidays can painfully underscore either a past that was and will never occur again, or a past that never was and will never be with family.  Feelings of grief can intensify during the holiday season, not only due to these losses, but the pressure of social expectations, traditions and norms that place a high value on the sanctity of family and togetherness that may neither be realistic nor desirable for an estranged or ostracized family member.  People who have opted for No Contact with difficult family members often find themselves feeling alone and out of sync with a culture that does not recognize this kind of loss, nor understands the toll it can take on the individual.  And cultural expectations that we will all be looking ahead to the New Year while celebrating with family can seem like a cruel joke for people who are mistreated by their own family.

The challenge of the holidays for scapegoated or estranged people is, in essence, a more amplified version of the daily coping required to deal constructively with  toxic family dynamics.   The key is to have a plan to deal both healthily with difficult emotions – such as sadness, loneliness, anger and grief – while allowing yourself to live in and enjoy the moment – and season – as much as possible.

How to Thrive During the Holidays

In addition to taking care of the basics, and common sense approaches – including adequate sleep, nutrition and exercise, estranged or ‘Low Contact’ folks have found the following strategies to be helpful:  Read Whole Article Here

Need help overcoming Relationship Trauma, Childhood Emotional Neglect, Narcissistic Family Abuse or Scapegoating?  Glynis would love to help.  Contact Glynis Sherwood MEd to book an individual or couples counseling appointment.

GlynisSherwood.com

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