Oh There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

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Family Therapy in Austin, TX

Family Therapy in Austin, TX

     Perry Como sings us his classic Christmas song each year, bringing us all into to the holiday season and holiday spirit. Christmas music fills the radio stations, holiday themed shows occupy the major networks, and shopping lists are being built. It is that time of year again, the holidays! For many, the holiday brings warm feelings of happiness, as many know that it is a time to spend with family and friends. Many find themselves using this time of year to look back on all of the accomplishments from the year and then looking forward to the upcoming year. The holidays are often seen as the time to shop all the good deals, eat all of the good food, and watch all the good holiday classics. For some, the holidays may start out this way, and then they go home for the holidays…

     Many people find that everything in their life is balanced and orderly, until they return home to their families. There is something about walking through that front door that triggers old feelings of frustration with family members (or with yourself) causing one to feel like the confidence he or she once had is now uprooted. Emotional reactivity is now high and the familiar irritants can lead to constant irritability. It also may be that there are unresolved issues that have been swept under the rug leading to greater levels of defensiveness and unsettledness than expected.

     If you are connecting with this, you are not alone. Theoretically there is the concept of “going home again.” While theoretical in its’ origin, I think “going home again” is important to consider during the holidays, but also anytime you return back to your family.  

     So, how do you apply this concept to your life? If you feel like every holiday season brings about these old feelings of frustration, it is important to begin to

identify the emotional boundaries you are setting with yourself and your family.

Part of identifying emotional boundaries for yourself is to gain awareness. You have blossomed into your own individual self after leaving home and now it is time to recognize the differences that may now exist between you and your family. You will likely find the similarities you want to keep and the differences you want to leave behind (or have already left behind).

     Understanding the differences that exist between you and your family can help you consider the potential aggravations that can arise as a result. This awareness can help you minimize any negative emotional reactions when you are around your family- you are better prepared.

Being prepared with the changes that have transpired since leaving home can offer emotional safety for you.

     Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays…so now it is time to return home at ease and be emotionally prepared for what home may bring.