Go into the season prepared. Many of us know the things that can be a source of stress, for example, preparing Christmas dinner for a full house. First, acknowledge those points in advance, then head into the season knowing how to deal with them. In other words, if you know in advance the things that give you a “headache,” your reaction will be less frantic and more controlled so that you don’t experience a domino effect that can perpetuate negative experiences and emotions.
Have realistic expectations. Nothing is perfect and not everything is “the end of the world.” Knowing that there is the potential for “hiccups” is the best attitude to live. Expecting perfection is already setting yourself up for failure. If all goes as expected or even better than expected, then live in the moment! But, it’s safe to say some of the best memories come from those “hiccups” that happen.
Find commonness when gathering. The holidays are about celebrating and creating memories worth recalling. It’s probably not the best time to bring up issues and subjects that catalyze strife and divisiveness. If you bring up subjects that you know will cause friction, then you risk lasting effects and hurt feelings. This is the opposite of what Christmas is about.
Take a break. This is a time for peace within. Stay off the phone, take a moment for yourself, enjoy those around you, leave work behind, and truly celebrate!
If you’re interested in more in depth suggestions and counseling advice, visit this link from Georgetown University.