This information comes to us courtesy of Dr. D Robitalle, MD, who was kind enough to share it with me this past year after attending one of my “Simplify the Season” workshops.

She mailed me a handout that she makes available to her patients, particularly around the holidays.  The information seems to me to be directed primarily at single adults with substance abusers in their family of origin (not uncommon) but is applicable in many ways to any family gathering.  My three favorite tips from the handout:

1.  Don’t argue with a drunk or unrecovered anything.  You can always leave and take a walk, drive, or whatever you need to do to take care of your inner child. [Katie says: or your ACTUAL child!]  When you return, everyone will pretend that nothing happened anyway.  [haha!]

2.  You are separate from your family and your desires are important.  It’s OK to take care of yourself and your needs.  [Katie adds: Your children’s needs are also important–perhaps more so than the needs/demands of the adult generation–so don’t let Grandma or Aunt Mabel guilt/shame/whatever you in to minimizing your kids’ needs.]

3.  Confront unrealistic expectations.  [Katie adds: be very aware of your expectations, and those of your children & other loved ones.  Examine them and make conscious choices about those that you will CHOOSE to try to meet!  Be picky, and then be sure to communicate clearly with those affected.]

May your holidays be peaceful and loving~