4 Tips For The Holidays: How to Deal Beautifully With Our Families

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Tips for the holidays - shown by family having happy dinnerWith the holidays nearly upon us it’s time for many of us to spend a few days in close proximity to our nearest and dearest. It might be something you look forward to or perhaps it feels more like torture. Whatever the reality for you, here are some tips for the holidays to help you enjoy spending time with your family (more)!

4 Tips For The Holidays: How to Deal Beautifully With Our Families!

  1. Let go of Expectations. With expectation there is always a risk of disappointment – the expectation not being met. We all want our holidays to be fun, joyful and festive – but it looks different for everyone! So, when families end up fighting it’s often simply because everyone has hopes and expectations of their own. Try something new: don’t add your expectations to the mix. Instead relax, decide to go with the flow and choose to be OK whatever happens. And (especially with our in-laws!) you never know, someone else’s wishes or ideas might give you something new you haven’t experienced before…
  2. Focus on you! Know what really matters to you – and meet your own needs BEFORE giving to others. If you know you need 8 hours sleep to feel good, don’t get up early after a late night just to be a good ‘host’ or ‘guest’. If you don’t like eating lunch at 3pm because you get grumpy when you’re hungry, be prepared and have a healthy snack at noon. If you get worn out with all the entertaining and participating, make time (in advance if you can) for a stroll or a soak in the bath to chill out and recuperate. Or run an ‘essential’ errand and take a break at your local coffee shop! When you listen to and take care of your ‘self’, you’ll be at your best, have more fun, and people will have more fun with you!
  3. Don’t Judge Others. We all do it. But did you know that we can only notice in others what we are capable of ourselves (not that we do it – we just have the ability). So, what does your judgement of others tell you about you? Are you feeling upset because they have a quality you want for yourself, and your gremlin is making you feel worth less? Or have you worked hard at NOT doing what someone else is doing, and feel disrespected or unimportant because someone else can’t be ‘bothered’ to do the same? Or has someone simply got different values, and they’re not respecting something important to you? Judging someone leaves us powerless to change our experience – and in a negative mood. Instead when you notice you’re judging others, reclaim your power by taking the opportunity to look for what you can learn about yourself. Ask, “What does this say about me? What do I need right now?” This turns your judgements into learning opportunities and naturally leads to a happier holiday!
  4. Be Giving. And I don’t mean Christmas gifts. Give the gift of listening, forgiveness, appreciation, acceptance. We all know we can’t change others, only ourselves. Instead of reacting to your Uncle making that joke AGAIN, give him laughter. Instead of being resentful that your sibling is not helping clear up, show appreciation to your host by making their life easier. Instead of switching off as your aunt drones on (as usual) about how successful your cousins are, nod appreciatively. As you accept others and give them your attention see what happens and how good you feel about yourself.

Of course these tips for the holidays are often easier SAID than done, but even if you just pick one of these to work on, you may just find the holidays are more enjoyable…

“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”  Dorothy Nevill

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