Between a global pandemic AND the political divide, it’s no surprise that family get-togethers are OVERLY stressful and overwhelming. Many families are feeling torn apart and it’s taking a serious toll on mental health.

The holiday season is stressful enough without the thought of political arguments getting in the way. Many people on both sides of the political fence are feeling more overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted than ever before. So, what can you do to protect your mental health during the holidays? Here are some tips to help you game plan before getting together.

Remember Why You Celebrate Together

There’s a reason you go through the same rigmarole every year. Why? Because you love each other! Or, at the very least, you choose to put your differences aside and come together to celebrate tradition, family, years past, and the year ahead. While 2020 has been a year many of us will try our best to forget, it’s important to keep in mind what matters most. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa – what do they all have in common? They remind us of the importance of family, the importance of laughter and cheer and, most importantly, creating new memories and traditions.

Don’t Try To Change The Unchangeable

Try and avoid changing someone’s mind. This can be tough, especially in this political climate. Take a step back and relieve yourself of that responsibility. We are all people, with the right to our political opinions. Whether you think something is wrong does not mean someone else feels the same. Table that conversation for a more appropriate time both you and who’s ever interested can discuss it in a lighter setting.

Disengage From Uncomfortable Topics

This is not the year to fight with Aunt Betty about her old-school political jargon. Come to dinner equipped with a few disengagement strategies to ensure an easy way out when uncomfortable situations arise. For example, try using “Let’s agree to disagree” or excuse yourself to check on the kids or make a quick run to the restroom. Playing board games, turning on the holiday music, building a gingerbread house and watching football are other great ways to defer from holiday stress and family frustration.

Give Marriage Counseling & Individual Therapy A Go

Either way you choose to go, know you’re not alone. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, Susan Block can help you overcome changes and difficulties faced every day, especially during the holidays. If you’re feeling lonely, depressed, sad or anxious about the months ahead, contact Susan for a complimentary consultation. Susan offers online sessions throughout the state of Florida. Whether you’re at home or on the road, marriage counseling and individual therapy are only a click away!