Things today get crazy. With so many events and responsibilities pulling at our time, sometimes it’s hard to remember to prioritize the more important things. I know I struggle with the hats that I wear. Sometimes, it’s hard to divide time to make sure that I care for myself, and my family. As I talk with patients, they also have issues dividing time and so many times they are now sitting in front of me due to marital and other relationship issues with family, and others, that are pulling the family apart. No matter how busy your life, taking time to enjoy family is important.
Every family has issues, and drama. At times, those issues begin to drive wedges in relationships and caused long term struggles. When the struggle become years of not talking, those issues separate people from relationships that are supportive and can create so many other issues that lead to depression and anxiety. I know that sometimes I think being alone would be better, but I’m often reminded that being alone isn’t the answer. Many people coming through my door have isolated themselves, often to protect themselves from being hurt, but instead they have chosen a life that is lonely. That isolation can increase feelings of hopelessness, and isn’t helpful to support a happy life.
No matter what the drama is in families, it’s worth keeping those relationships alive. As long as the relationships don’t include violence or theft (or other detrimental behavior that puts your life or your well being at risk), get past the drama and work at the relationships. At some point you accept people for who they are, but most people have something to offer. Knowing that you are connected to others, is important for your mental health. Understanding how drama, and people, work and what purpose it serves can help you better understand those around you and continue relationships that help you feel supported. Even if the relationships don’t offer complete support, they are useful in not feeling alone. I work with so many people struggling with loneliness because they have severed relationships with family. Any relationship takes work, whether it’s a spouse, a child, a parent, a sibling, or other extended family, put in the work to try to develop those relationships.
Spending time with family can come in many different forms. Talking on the phone, or email, can help keep relationships alive. Spending time together cooking, shopping, or helping with medical appointments are ways to support relationships. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, and other events can be times to encourage relationships. Don’t underestimate the power of contact, even from one side of the country to the other. So many times, I have worked with patients that are struggling because they need support after a medical procedure and don’t have anyone to help them. It affects their health and well being, and can be avoided if they maintained relationships where they can support someone and have someone to support them.
Enjoy spending time with family, and make time to encourage relationships. Laugh, joke, and plan activities. Understand there will be drama, and find a way to move past the drama. Support your relationships, and let them add more to your life. It’s not always easy to encourage relationships with family but understand that those relationships serve a purpose. We can’t survive alone. My job has taught me that. We need others to support a life that helps with being happy long term, so spend time with family. Plan fun things, but also know there will be harder times. Both sun and rain are needed for a beautiful world. Enjoy both as you create your best you.