Which egg are you? How are you feeling about the upcoming potential family gatherings? Do you love it, dread it, or it depends? I’ve been on all ends of the spectrum. This year I’m excited about the family time. Mimi get’s to play with the girls & see all of the boys!
What changes have you had since the last time you gathered? Any changes with who’s a part of the family, the impact of changed relationships, adult child relationships and all that brings about. Plus normal family dynamics – that can be a tricky and time to re-examine where we emotionally.
We don’t tend to discuss this season as being a “stressful time” like we do for the winter holidays. However, any family gathering can bring up that struggle and stress of family and getting along with family. There can be a lot of stuffing - we are not talking about trying to keep the peace and be nice to one another. Stuffing down comments, those looks or even eye rolls. Who’s doing what to whom, blending families, changing families (who’s there and not there and why), introducing the person in your life to the rest of the family, when do you bring them to a family gathering, who’s gonna say or do what, why does she always bring that side dish, oh their they go again..etc.
Not to mention those darn personal expectations we all have about what the event is all about. This is where I believe the crux of the stress occurs.
Our expectations on who and what it’s about and how it’s supposed to be vs. reality of what occurs. What if we could just enjoy the present moment? We can with some practice and intentional thought.
5 Tips and Resources on Thriving at Family Events Even When There's Change
1. Stop and think about how you feel about an event or particular people.
Really just let those feelings roll over you. Allow them all to be. No judgement.
You may wish to journal, draw, or contemplate the following
a. What are my feelings?
b. What is the source of these feelings?
c. Is this true for me now? Do I want this to still be true?
2. What’s most important about this event or person for you?
a. Who knows this and how can you share this?
3. For family changes, check out Life Changes and also how to be in the present moment when there are changes.
4. Consider how relationships may have changed since the last time you were all gathered.
a. New family member(s) or those that are longer there?
b. Moves, divorces, births, marriages, deaths, living together, elder care/living changes, health, etc.
c. Here’s an article on When Relationships Change for support and tips
5. It’s a great time to review and maybe set some boundaries about how you interact with others?
a. Boundaries are all about respect for yourself and others.
b. Life Balance: What do you say yes and no to and allow for yourself and others.
I hope these tips are useful for you and your family. I wish you and yours the most blessed spring. I love spring, Easter, Passover and all of the holidays and celebrations of spring. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming with all of the get togethers and family expectations. For me, I need some extra quiet time in between. I’m looking forward to being present in making new memories with those who choose to be a part of my life this year.
Do you have any tips or thoughts on this topic of relationships and family gatherings? I’d love to hear them. Please like, comment, and share! Questions or comments - please ask.
Peace, Love, and Blessings,
Teresa Q. Bitner - M.Ed., PMP, ACC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Specialist
Partnering with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.
Author of: Soul Love: How A Dog Taught Me to Breathe Again
P.S. I'm looking to fill my coaching practice with a few clients – new or returning. What area of life or business might you want support and a safe place to discover what’s next for you? Wishing you were more resilient, let me help you bounce back.
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