3 keys to happy holiday reunions

Nervous for holiday encounters? Start emotionally preparing yourself now.

Media Contact: Barbara Clements - 253-740-5043, bac60@uw.edu

Dr. Larry Wissow, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, encourages anyone who’s nervous about conflict or quarrels with family and friends this holiday season to focus on three emotional keys.

“It's mindfulness, gratitude and compassion — and all of this is really prep work. How do you imagine getting yourself into the holidays?”

Put yourself in the best mindset for the holiday rush by slowing down, if possible, right now, he suggests.

“My metaphor for that is thinking about somebody who's prepping for a long run or some kind of an athletic event, and they taper,” said Wissow, who's also division chief of child psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Can we somehow taper down so that by the time we get to those in-laws' houses or to the place where it's going to be stressful, we are already rested … and we're actually ready to give back in this particular setting?”

Read our news item about building emotional strength to stave off stress. 

Download broadcast-ready soundbites featuring Wissow’s three holiday keys.

UW Medicine