Tips To Cope With Family Stress During The Holidays – Dysfunctional Family Bingo

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on December 21, 2012


Are you wondering how to cope with stressful family gatherings during the holiday season? If you are, you are certainly not alone. An article in the Wall Street Journal entitled: ‘Dysfunctional Family Bingo’ opened up a discussion with FOX 25 News Boston’s anchors; Elizabeth Hopkins AKA: Lilly and Brett Connolly, during a LIVE interview with this marriage and family therapist of what some of the challenges are that people encounter while spending time with their family over the holidays. During this interview I shared my theory on why family gatherings are so stressful. Plus, I offered a concrete strategy of how to get from knowing what your emotional triggers are and the importance of how to take this mindful awareness of one’s triggers to the next step which is; effective coping. I find the combination of the use of the following is the difference that makes the difference to go from not coping well to productive coping and perhaps even enjoying your family holiday gathering;

  • Humor
  • Recognizing what another person says or does is about their character not yours
  • Direct approach

When unarmed with effective coping tools it leads that person to feel anxious. Check out this segment to arm yourself with a few helpful strategies. In addition, don’t forget to remind yourself of the wonderful things you have in your life- spotlight the positive!

Happy Holidays!
Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

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Follow Dr. Karen on Twitter or Facebook. Media Psychotherapist Guest Expert; Relationships, Parenting, Hot Topics In The News. Appears on: The O'Reilly Factor, FOX & Friends, FOX & Friends FIRST, America Live, Hannity, regular go-to for FOX Boston, and more. Can be heard on Radio: FOX News, 96.9 Boston Talks, and more. Columnist, quoted in various print media: FOX Business, Boston Globe, Boston Herald,, USA Today, Parents, TIME, Woman's Day, and more. Owner/Director of Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates, Inc. Based in Massachusetts. Author of: 9 Key Techniques For Raising Respectful Children and Dr. Karen's Marriage Manual. Copyright 2012.


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