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With holidays approaching, people are struggling to decide to travel home - MyNorthwest

Author: MyNorthwest

Source: https://mynorthwest.com/3936961/struggling-whether-travel-home-holidays-family/

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Thanksgiving is less than a month away, leaving some travelers with the tumultuous decision whether or not they plan to travel home for the holidays.Because of toxic families, social workers at Mindful Therapy Group stressed that speaking up is crucial and it takes courage.“Give yourself permission to pass on visiting for the holidays,” social worker Nick Norman said, especially since we’re on the cusp of an election year.But if you definitely need to travel home, Norman stated that setting up some ground rules is important.“Say ‘hey, we as a family don’t have a great track record talking about politics, so I’d like to propose we don’t talk about it so we can enjoy our holiday.’ That lays down boundaries so the family knows what to expect,” Norman told KIRO Newsradio.More on the holidays: This is the time to buy airline tickets for the holidaysIf your family doesn’t respect your boundaries, speak up.If they continue to push, leave.Norman said it’s important to have a backup plan and an exit strategy.Stephanie A.Sarkis, Ph.D., covered this topic last year for a piece in Psychology Today and suggested people give themselves more control by setting a time limit for a visit and making sure a quick escape is possible.“You need to leave whenever it’s in your best interest to do so,” Sarkis wrote in her piece. “If you are relying on someone else for transportation, it leaves you in an unhealthy or sometimes even dangerous situation.If you are visiting from out of town and a ride-sharing service is inaccessible, consider renting a car during your visit.”“And if all else fails, know who your allies and backup people are,” Norman said.“Because when things go sideways, you can lean on them for support.”Sarkis suggested bringing an ally or “buffer.”“When you bring a friend to a family event, they can act as a ‘buffer’ between you and (a) toxic person …” Sarkis wrote.“Tell your friend that if the toxic person approaches you, distract them so you can walk away.Agree on a nonverbal cue with your friend ahead of the event.”Another important tip, check in with yourself. If you find that you are feeling anxious, angry or overwhelmed, it’s OK to take a timeout.Sometimes you need a little space.More from Micki Gamez: Gov.Inslee, some local residents speak out about ads on ferry exteriorsThese are some of Norman’s tips for surviving your family during the holidays:Stay somewhere safe like a hotel or Airbnb so you can leave the festivities when you want.Tell the family not to talk about politics or religion.Lay down boundaries before you get there.Make sure your allies know how you feel about certain topics.Speak to a licensed therapist to help guide you through these emotions.Don’t be afraid to just say no and stay home.Contributing: Steve Coogan, MyNorthwestYou can read more of Micki Gamez’s stories here.Follow Micki Gamez on X, formerly known as Twitter or email her here.Follow @https://twitter.com/onairmichelle

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