The holiday brings stress to many people and learning how to cope with it is critical to making them happy and joyous versus traumatic.
First know that no matter how old you are the holidays can bring you back to a time when you were less resourceful and looking for the approval of others. Whether you are 30 or 50 the thought of going back home can make you feel like you are 12 years old all over again.
Thoughts of being judged, worrying about what they will say or think about what you are doing. Do you even dare to share?
The anxiety builds up and starts to stack around everything you are doing. What would be effortless in every day life seems to compound during the holidays.
Here are some tips for dealing with the stress of the Holidays and how to cope:
- Come from a place of “Gratitude versus Havitude”. Be grateful that you have a family to go home to or have come to you. Be grateful that you are here on this earth. Find gratitude in the smallest things and the big things will not cause any anxiety or despair during the holidays. Practice Gratitude not Havitude.
- Remember you are not a child any more. It is easy to fall back into old behaviors, but instead remember who you are now and what you have become. You do not need to prove anything to anyone except yourself.
- Praise yourself for every step you take to making arrangements to see the family. That may include flying, driving or hosting. Celebrate the actions you take and not base it on the outcomes. You can’t please everyone but you can please yourself.
- Make things smaller than they are by putting things in perspective. When we make things bigger than they are we tend to feel like we have the elephant in the room and there is no getting around it. Make things manageable so you can deal with it with ease and grace.
It’s only a dinner. There will only be 20 people there. Stop comparing yourself to others in the family. Keep it simple.
- Learn to say NO to what doesn’t serve you! Saying NO to others is saying YES to you! If you try to please everyone you will end up pleasing no one. Do your best and forget the test.
- Love isn’t the price tag on the gift. Make the holidays about the people not the gifts. The holidays can put a unnecessary financial strain on people when we forget the meaning of what it truly is mean to be. It is about being with the ones you love and celebrating them not the gifts.If it is too much of a financial strain for you then share with your family that you do not want to do gifts. Or if you believe like I do that we got away from the real meaning of the holidays and you just want the gift to be, being together for celebrate each other then do so. Many people are missing holidays due to the financial strain it is putting on them and the family and the unspoken needs to be said.
- Making the holidays about others! Take the focus off yourself and watch all the stress and anxiety disappear. When we make it about ourselves we trade our expectations for appreciation. The holidays are about sharing, giving and loving. The more you give the more you get.