How to handle holiday conflicts amid COVID pandemic

Advice to help ease the tension amid a new kind of celebration

How to handle holiday conflicts amid COVID pandemic

DETROIT – The holidays can be a stressful time and, when you factor in the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people are feeling that tension.

Doing things differently in order to stay safe amid the pandemic isn’t sitting well with everyone. You can watch the video report below or continue reading.

“We’re seeing a lot of conflict and tension between family members about how to handle the upcoming holidays,” said Dr. Susan Albers, psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Albers says a lot of her patients have expressed feelings of guilt about skipping family gatherings this year. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to protect yourself and your family’s health, she said it’s important to express your concerns to your loved ones.

“What’s really important is for families to clearly communicate ahead of time, way ahead of holidays, what kind of expectations they have,” Albers said. “Their limits, their boundaries and what they need to feel safe.”

If you are hosting anyone outside of your household, don’t be afraid to set boundaries for guests -- especially regarding the importance of wearing a mask.

Be firm, but polite.

“We create a lot of scenarios in our minds about how the holidays are going to play out, and sometimes we create the worst case scenarios,” Albers said. “Remind yourself that they are possible but not probable, and remind yourself about the positive things that the holidays can bring you.”

While everyone will be missing their big celebrations this year, Albers says the upside is that you won’t have the stress of traveling or cooking a huge holiday dinner. She recommends spending this time focusing on relaxing.

New studies confirm importance of mask use amid COVID pandemic

The easiest and most impactful way to slow the spread is to wear a mask, social-distance and frequent hand washing, but everyone needs to help.

The benefits aren’t just to those around you, but also to the mask wearer themselves.

Read more here.

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.