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After the tears, apologize and forgive: Surviving the postelection holidays

Where did things go well? Why did conversations come off the rails? After it's all said and done, assess


Mary Beth Williams
November 26, 2016 3:30AM (UTC)

If only the anxiety of Thanksgiving ended as soon the leftovers have been crammed into the fridge. But often, it's when you've had time to let what was said and done at dinner and beyond churn around in your brain a while that the true toll kicks in. 

Psychologist and author Jeff Gardere, an assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, spoke with Salon recently about a post-Thanksgiving emotional detox plan for all the "next-day angst" that so many of us experience. Without our taking positive action, the holiday can kick up our historic family baggage, as well as introduce an entirely new set of incidents that we can wind up having regrets and resentments about. 

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Gardere suggested that it's smart to do a realistic post-Thanksgiving analysis of what really went down before those negative feelings spin out and amplify. "Look at some of the things that really went well, some of the things really that went off the rails," he advised, "and really process that to prepare ourselves for the future, . . . how we're going to carry ourselves for the next several dinners and parties this holiday season." 

He also encouraged hasty damage control. If things between you and someone with whom you spent Thanksgiving went south, rather than go radio silent, now is the time to "send [a] text or email like, 'I know things got really heated, but I love you and respect you, . . . I apologize if I offended you.'" As Gardere pointed out, "It makes you a better person to be able to backtrack a little bit." And emotional health begins with positive action. 

 


Mary Beth Williams

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Family Holidays Mental Health Thanksgiving

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