Holidays can be the best part of the year, but sometimes, even the thought of meeting all your family members (especially those who you may not particularly get along with or have old hurts attached to) can be as painful and difficult to digest as much as a heavy holiday feast.
Here are some useful tips how to avoid family drama during the holidays and enjoy the festive season much more this year:
1. Don’t forget what holidays are all about at the first place.
With all the hustle and bustle while buying gifts, decorating the home, searching for the “perfect” outfit, planning a marvelous party… we can easily forget the true meaning of holidays. Holidays are about the faith, preserving traditions, giving, reconnecting with family members, sharing the love and getting everyone together to share in the spirit of the season.
2. Practice mindfulness while having difficult conversations.
Family members that have known us since we were little kids can very easily push our emotional triggers by saying something that will hurt us very deeply or bringing up memories or incidents of the past that we are trying to leave behind us and get over. Very often, family members tend to ask a lot of questions about our life and give unwanted advice on how we should run our life or what kind of decisions we should make. Questions and comments about our love life, job, looks… can be especially very uncomfortable to swallow if we would rather not discuss them or perhaps we aren’t satisfied with where we are in a particular area of our lives. Not to mention when the topic changes to politics or something else where strong opinions may differ from our own. It’s no surprise that so many people avoid family dinners or holidays having all of this in mind.
This holiday season, try to bring more awareness and mindfulness into your space. Before you give a reply on a teasing comment or get irritated by the questions or old memories that somebody brings up, take a deep breath, be aware of what you are feeling and let it go. Then give a smart reply, which will work in your favor. It can be as simple as, “I would rather not bring that up right now. I was missing you for a long time, we have a lot to catch up on… let’s enjoy our holidays and time spent together!”
Instead of showing anger, show some more love and remember that you can always choose the way you will react!
A lot of things can happen over a year. People’s lives change, or they move away. We never know when we may lose a loved one, or how long it may be until we see family again. If you would know that it is your last Christmas with some of your family members, would you allow the small stuff to spoil your precious time with that person?
3. Don’t get caught up into negative vibes.
If you have a particular negative family member or two that you will be spending your holiday with, have in mind that you cannot control how other people will behave, but only how you will react! So, instead of getting caught up into the negative vibes vicious circle, turn the energy around. Tell something funny, share some positive event or thing about you or your life, ask everyone what they are grateful for this past year, what are their goals, plans, New Year’s resolutions… If there are no positive vibes in the room, you can always create some on your own.
Remember that holidays are season of faith, joy, togetherness, sharing, giving, love and caring. This holiday season make a committed decision that you will make them feel and look just like that!