Do you have a family reunion coming up? Will it be the first time you’ve seen everyone since we went into lockdown? If it is, you could be feeling a little anxious or stressed. Do not worry, there are ways and means of dealing with family reunions regardless of whether they’re something to look forward to or a source of anxiety.

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Watch Out for The Drama Triangles 

When you’re spending time with your family watch out for the drama triangles. These consist of one person talking, another person listening and perhaps rolling their eyes at them. Finally, there’s one more person who is there to keep the second person company. The individual who is keeping someone else company is there to support them so they don’t get stuck with the dramatic aunt or the boring mother-in-law.

These drama triangles, whether they involve drama or not can be very emotional. However, you could try to be brave enough and not ask for support from a third person. This will ensure you take more responsibility for the relationship and you don’t hear second-hand gossip.

Make a Plan

One of the best things you can do before a family reunion is to make a plan. Think about what could make you feel more anxious and what you could regret doing. Make a plan to speak to someone you don’t know very well, think about staying calm when you feel anxious. Don’t forget, you can excuse yourself for a few minutes and spend some time in a quiet corner or in the garden should you need to escape. Some alone time might make the whole reunion much more manageable.

Observe Others

If you have a difficult family member or two, start by observing them. Where are those drama triangles occurring? What do you think makes those family members anxious? Who do these difficult people seek out and avoid? When you spend time observing others rather than thinking about how you feel, you’re less likely to feel anxious.

Take one minute at a time, try to enjoy your family reunion even if it seems excruciating. Concentrate on the good things if you can, chances are you’ll have more fun and time will pass a little quicker. 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Interested in helping those who are struggling with their mental health? We offer Mental Health First Aid training in Selby. Contact us at info@communitea.org.uk