Coping With Family Visits – Can Coaching Help?
Family – we can’t live with them and we can’t live without them. They are an integral part of who we are, for better or worse. They are (hopefully) there for us in times of need and can also drive us up a wall the other half of the time.
The holidays may be over and everyone has returned home but if you feel drained from family visits, you aren’t alone. It may have left you wondering how you can deal with future family visits. Not only during the holidays but any other time as well.
In life, we always have the opportunity to use past experiences to improve the future. Thankfully, there are healthy ways that we can deal with family visits. Let’s go over a few of the best ones.
Of course, there are the basic details you have to plan for. Where will they stay? What will you do as a group when they are in town? If they are staying at your house, how will you plan for dinners and feeding them? But then there are the mental details of planning for a family visit that shouldn’t be overlooked.
1. Lower Expectations
First, learn to manage your expectations. It’s common for any situation we are anticipating to have a picture of how it should go. In reality, this doesn’t happen very often. This could be good and it could also be bad. Especially if you expect a picture-perfect gathering of photo-taking opportunities, good times, and reminiscing. That isn’t to say that those things won’t happen, because I’m sure they will.
Just remember to be realistic about your expectations of the visit. You’ll be less likely to end up feeling disappointed or agitated when things don’t go as planned.
2. Plan Ahead For Activities
You don’t have to go as far as saying, “From 10-12 we are going to do this, then from…” However, it won’t be a bad idea to at least get some general ideas before they come. Ask them what they would like to do when they are in town. Is it visiting museums? Going for walks? Seeing a movie together? Looking at photo albums?
3. Discuss Expectations Regarding Finances
This always seems to be a source of strife when families visit. Who will pay for what? If they are staying at your house, would you like them to contribute to food or groceries for the time they are there? If you are going on outings, who pays for what?
Talking about these things ahead of time can help everyone involved have more clarity on the financial aspects of a family visit. It can help avoid the, “When you were here you didn’t even offer to pay for…” Having these awkward conversations in advance (and this can be done through text too) will create less stress and less frustration later, and hopefully more joy during the visit.
4. You Don’t Have To Be The Perfect Host, Catering To Their Every Need
We all want to be good hosts to our visitors. However, that doesn’t mean you should be expected to cater to their every need. Or to drop everything in your life because they are in town. You still have your own life, job, and responsibilities that you need to attend to. Everyone is an adult with their own adult lives.
Make sure that they understand that while you are happy they are in town, you also need to take care of your own things as well.
How Life Coaching Can Help Coping With Family Visits
We all get stuck inside our own heads, thought patterns, and behaviors when it comes to family. If you previously had a bad visit with them, it probably left a sour taste in your mouth and you feel anxious about this upcoming visit.
Learn more about how life coaching can help you overcome this by clicking HERE. Together, we can help reshape your mindset on how to better handle family visits so that you dn’t run into tense situations or conflicts (ideally) and if you do, how to cope and keep your equilibrium.
I am a Board Certified Coach (BCC Coach), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and an Accredited CBT Therapist and Psychotherapist in the UK with over 16 years of experience. My specialties include Life Coaching, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy and Therapy For Gay Men