Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to Survive Going Home for the Holidays

Are visits home at best stressful and at worst they repeat that bad stuff that happened when you lived there? Here are some ways to make a holiday visit as healthy as possible for you.

If you're currently getting neurofeedback training, it's a good idea to go home with your brain "tuned up." Scheduling a session for right after you get back can be very helpful, too, especially if you have jet lag to deal with. And here are six non-neurofeedback tips on how to survive holidays at home.
  • Make sure you get time away from the house. Go for a walk, run an errand, see a movie.

  • Have a support person lined up. That could be your good friend from where you live now, ready to remind you over the phone that you have a life outside your family. Get professional help if you need it.   
  • If there are people you like who live in the same town or city as your family, make plans to see them on your own during the visit.

  • Conduct an experiment: Study your family members as if you were meeting them for the first time. This will give you some helpful distance and perspective.

  • Remember: You are not your family; you are a separate person.

  • Make the visit as short as possible. It's your life, not theirs!
If you haven't done neurofeedback yet, it can be extremely helpful in navigating any stressful situation. Old learned reactions to stress drop away as the brain becomes more resilient and flexible.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback

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