If you’re like a lot of people, you have a lot of stress at the holidays, especially this year.
If so, you’re not alone!
Whether you’re having big celebrations with a lot of people or because of Covid 19, limiting your gatherings to just a few…
There can be pressure to not only make those decisions of whether to keep your holiday celebrations as they’ve always been or modify them–and then also following through with as little stress as possible.
You might have an even shorter fuse than normal when you run up against people–even those you love–who just rub you the wrong way!
So what do you do?
How do you not only “get through” the holidays but actually enjoy them?
Here are 3 ways we use for not only getting along at the holidays but actually finding pleasure…
1. Remember we all live in separate realities and don’t look out at life the same way
So when Uncle Charles starts ranting about all the things wrong with the government (or anything else), know that you aren’t going to change his mind by arguing about it.
That’s the way he looks at life and you don’t have to engage.
You can say something like–“That’s an interesting way to look at it…” and if you really want to connect with him, you can ask him questions.
If you choose not to connect with him, gracefully get into a conversation with someone else.
You don’t have to be irritated when a person has a different viewpoint and you don’t have to agree.
2. Live in the present moment
The present moment is all we have so stay there as much as possible.
A good friend of Susie’s used to be so consumed with what she had to do when she hosted holiday gatherings that she missed connecting with her loved ones.
When she realized there was another way–to stay in the present moment and connect with people instead of letting her thoughts take over–she began to really enjoy the holidays.
Staying in the present moment means connecting with people by getting interested in them.
It means taking your attention away from your thoughts and what you HAVE to do to focusing on the other person.
So simple but yet we forget during the “demands” of the holidays!
3. Turn to gratitude instead of criticism
It just seems to be second nature for a lot of us to criticize others either verbally or silently in our minds.
If you want to get along with others at the holidays and really enjoy yourself, nothing works better than having an attitude of gratitude.
When your mind wanders to thinking that your sister’s way of making mashed potatoes is completely wrong…
Breathe and take a pause before something snarky comes out of your mouth or you roll your eyes.
Instead, turn your mind to something you’re grateful for.
It might be your children, your partner, the food you and others have prepared, the sunshine or something you appreciate about your sister.
You don’t have to put life into critical thoughts that will harm your connections with others–and blame it on the stress of the holidays.
You can choose what you focus on.
Even though it looks like your stress and pressure are created from circumstances and what you see outside you, it’s really an inside job.
We can allow self-induced stress created by our thinking to die down if we don’t feed it.
Several years ago, the two of us did an experiment before a holiday gathering.
Previous gatherings with these people had been a bit contentious and we didn’t want that this year.
So instead of rehashing old arguments, we imagined everyone getting along and us having fun as we were driving to the event.
And it worked!
We had the best time ever that year with no disagreements to spoil the fun.
Are we great creators? Maybe
But more likely it was that WE were in better spirits and that’s how we interacted with people.
If you’re anywhere in the world, we send you much love as well as you gather for holiday celebrations.