If you’ve been dreading the idea of spending time with your family this holiday season, you aren’t alone. In fact, one-third of Americans are uncomfortable spending any amount of time with their family during the holidays. There’s no such thing as “too much family time” during the holidays. The question is, how do you deal with family drama and conflicts so that your holiday season isn’t ruined? In this blog post, I will discuss ways to prevent and manage conflict during the holidays.
For many of us, spending the holidays with family brings us comfort and joy. For others, holiday family time is anything but good tidings. From the stress of travel to the pressures of gift-giving, the holidays can trigger a flurry of bad habits and feelings that cause serious conflict. But the family drama doesn’t have to run your season of joy off the rails.
Here are 11 suggestions for keeping calm and sanity during the holiday season:
Know Your “Why’s”
It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday season and lose sight of your goals. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, it might be helpful to take a step back and remember why you’re planning on spending time with family this year. What are your reasons? What are your intentions? Are they positive or negative? By reminding yourself of what you want from the holiday season you can stop yourself from getting frustrated and also keep your family members in check.
If possible, try to prepare for the holidays as much as you can ahead of time. For example, if you’re traveling to see a loved one or going to a party with friends, spend some time beforehand thinking about what might happen. Think about the people you’ll be spending time with and what their personalities are like. Will there be conflict? These types of questions will help you plan for any potential issues so that they don’t take you by surprise during your holiday season.
Remember “Your Truth”
There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays, but if you’re struggling to stick to your own personal truth during these special times, it can be easy for family members or friends to take advantage of this. Don’t let anyone push past your boundaries by reminding yourself of who you are and what makes you happy.
Give Yourself Permission
It’s important that we all give ourselves permission to have a good time during the holidays. If you’re feeling like something isn’t quite right, don’t be afraid to speak up and listen to yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that your feelings are wrong or silly because it is important for us all to feel comfortable in our own skin no matter what we’re doing this holiday season.
It’s ok to acknowledge the fact that not everything will go perfectly during this holiday season. That doesn’t mean you should let your guard down, but it does mean you shouldn’t set your expectations too high either. Whether it be travel plans or gift-giving, try to keep things as realistic as possible so that nothing comes back to bite you later on.
Gossiping about family members or friends can be a very common coping mechanism during the holidays, but it isn’t always helpful. The temptation to gossip may arise even more so when we feel upset or angry with someone else, but avoiding these conversations is beneficial for everyone involved. If you’re feeling frustrated with a certain family member, try to avoid talking about them and instead focus on things that you can change.
Comparing yourself to other people is easy, but it often leads us down the wrong path or makes us feel inadequate. It’s important not to compare our holiday experiences with others because we all celebrate differently and need to let go of the idea that others are doing it better than us.
Let Go Of The Past
If you’re having a hard time letting go of past family issues, try not to bring them up during the holidays. This can be easier said than done but if possible put yourself in your current shoes rather than living in the past. The holidays are meant to be a time of celebration and joy, not one for regrets or anger.
Give Yourself Some Space
The holiday season can become overwhelming if we don’t give ourselves some space every now and then. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed try going somewhere alone where you won’t have any distractions so that you can collect your thoughts and get back to the center.
Being Mindful of What Your Put in Your Mouth
The holidays are a time to enjoy yourself. But don’t let sugar, carbohydrates, and alcohol ruin your family gathering. It’s critical to be careful with these substances since in excessive doses, they can wreak havoc on your mood and judgment. If you’re mingling with family members who are drinking excessively, don’t feel obligated to drink right alongside them. If your grandma is bringing out that famous pie of hers, enjoy yourself by eating a reasonable portion size and then pass the rest on over to someone else.
Take A Breath
Breathing is one of our most important tools in life because it allows us to escape from whatever we’re feeling at that moment, even if it’s just for a second or two. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed this holiday season try taking some time out so you can reset and come back to the present moment.
I hope that this article has been helpful to you in some way, but mostly I hope that these tips will help make your holiday season a little bit less stressful and easier to cope with. Remember, this season is about time spent with family and loved ones so try not to overthink things too much and enjoy the holiday season to the fullest!
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!