Tools to help you
along on your pursuit

Thanksgiving: 10 Strategies to Survive with an Unhealthy Family

by Adam Glendye

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude and enjoy quality time with family and friends. For many, it’s a heartwarming celebration filled with delicious food and cherished traditions. However, not everyone has the ideal family, and the holiday season can bring unique challenges. If you’re dreading Thanksgiving with your unhealthy family, don’t worry; you’re not alone. This blog offers ten practical strategies to help you not only survive but thrive during the Thanksgiving holiday.

  1. Set Realistic Expectations: Understand that your family may not change, but you can change your expectations. Instead of hoping for a perfect day, focus on the moments of connection and gratitude you can create.
  2. Establish Boundaries: Decide beforehand what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not. Communicate your boundaries calmly and assertively. Stick to your boundaries to protect your well-being.
  3. Stay Mindful: Practice mindfulness to stay centered and present. Deep breaths and grounding exercises can help you navigate stressful moments.
  4. Lean on Supportive Friends: If you have friends who understand your situation, don’t hesitate to share your feelings and spend time with them. They can provide invaluable support and a different perspective.
  5. Plan Your Escape: Have an escape plan, whether it’s a walk around the block or a quiet room to retreat to. Knowing you have a safe space to regroup can ease anxiety.
  6. Stay Positive: Focus on the aspects of your family gathering that bring you joy. Celebrate moments of connection or humorous anecdotes that emerge during the day.
  7. Gratitude Journal: Keep a gratitude journal and make a point of writing down the positive aspects of your day. This can shift your focus from negativity to appreciation.
  8. Volunteer: Consider volunteering on Thanksgiving. Helping others in need can provide a sense of fulfillment and perspective.
  9. Limit Alcohol: Excessive drinking can intensify family conflicts. Be mindful of your alcohol intake and set your limits.
  10. Seek Professional Help: If your family dynamics are causing significant distress, consider talking to a therapist. A trained professional can help you explore coping strategies and navigate family relationships more effectively.


Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a source of dread, even if your family dynamics are challenging. By employing these strategies, you can approach the holiday with a sense of control and resilience. Remember, you have the power to choose how you experience the day. Focus on the aspects of Thanksgiving that bring you joy, create your own traditions, and prioritize self-care. In doing so, you can navigate this holiday season with a renewed sense of empowerment and well-being.

At The Pursuit, a group of experienced therapists have come together to offer best in class counseling services. We prioritize clinical theory, non-judgmental approaches, and effective interventions, treatment plans, and coping skills.
We have therapists who specialize in different areas and we strive to find the best match for your unique needs. Our services cater to individuals, families, and organizations, including adolescents in high school. Our aim is to connect you with the specialist who can best address your concerns.
Our specialized trauma counseling services aim to address the underlying emotional wounds that contribute to behaviors. We offer evidence-based trauma counseling that is effective with working many presenting problems. We provide a holistic approach to recovery, focusing on healing the past to create a healthier future.

Are you ready to take the first step on your Pursuit towards a happier, healthier you? We invite you to book your free 20-minute consultation with one of our skilled therapists. Don’t wait; it’s time to invest in your well-being. Simply click “Book Now” to start your Pursuit towards personal growth and positive change today.

Leave a Reply

Book Now

Are you ready to pursue
your journey with us?