COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Family is important; love is important; gathering also is important — and undeniably stressful. So here are a few tips from OhioGuidestone, a group of therapists in Berea.

  1. Focus on family traditions – family traditions bring meaning to celebrations and foster special bonds.
  2. Acknowledge that holidays can be difficult – often holidays are a reminder of a loss, financial pressures, or high expectations.
  3. Find one or two things that you are grateful for– practicing gratitude and reflecting on things you are grateful for increases positive feelings.
  4. Have a safety plan if there is a history of problems– gatherings can be difficult if there are unresolved injuries, rivalries, conflicts, etc.  Get out of those situations and identify a coping skill or strategy.  Talking to a trusted friend, taking a walk, singing, dancing, or journaling.

One coping strategy at Thanksgiving — healthy or not — will be the cell phone. According to a report by Unwind Media, most people plan to use their phone at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year. The report said 6 in 10 admit to using their phone to avoid certain family members during the holidays.

The report also said that 91% of people instinctively turn to their phones out of boredom — even while socializing.