Ten Practical Tips
To Help You Get Through (and possibly even enjoy) Family Visits
- Know your boundaries. What are you willing for family to know and not know about your health status?
- Know the terrain. What is you family personality? How can you guide conversations so that you remain in your comfort zone?
- Know the escape routes. What excuses work for you to head off and take a nap, ice, or do your PT exercises?
- Identify your challenges. What is tough about family time?
- Proactively address your challenges. Have some tools to deal with each of those stressors.
- Avoid the Tar Pits. What irritating or painful thing sucks you in every time you see your family? Can you avoid it? If not, how can you experience it without becoming emotionally engaged?
- Pick your battles. To keep your stress levels down, consider avoiding political arguments with Uncle Fred.
- Find allies. If there are no allies to be had in your family, have a friend you can call during the visit for love and support.
- Prioritize yourself. Get enough sleep. Eat well. Exercise. Journal. Watch funny TV shows. Do what you gotta do to keep your mood up.
- Find fun! In some families this is easier said than done, but if you come from an average rather than severely dysfunctional family, appreciate the golden moments. Holding your sweet baby nephew, playing scrabble, going on a hike, your Dad's corny jokes. Look for the beauty in your crazy tangle of loved ones.