“If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.” ~Ram Dass
“A little emotional preparedness goes a long way, especially when the holidays are upon us,” says Kerstin Hecker, founder of IndigoMuse Health Coaching.
Many of the challenges around the holidays involve family dynamics and unfinished childhood business. Interactions with parents and siblings can stir up long-buried feelings we thought we put behind us. One wrong word said can feel like we have taken a step back in time to when we were five years old.
With that in mind:
AVOID THE URGE TO REACT. Pause. Take a deep breath or count to 10. Then, only then, respond or simply let it go. Family gatherings offer plenty of anger invitations. Know that there is no need to accept any of them.
TAKE BREAKS. If you know a certain relative presses your buttons, and you can only take it for a certain amount of time, respect your threshold and excuse yourself to the bathroom every 30 minutes.
REMEMBER, PEOPLE EVOLVE. Yes, as far-fetched it may sound the likelihood is that your parents, relatives, and siblings have evolved just as you have.
BE GRATEFUL. You have a family – you have friends — we may all have grown in different directions, but we have the same roots. Make it a game to take a look at what you have in common.
LIGHTEN UP. Life is, after all, one big comedy and there is no better time for it to unfold then around the holidays. Enjoy the psychodrama of it all!
How do you handle family-related stress on the holidays? Tell us in a comment!
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