The holidays are a time to be with our loved ones and reflect on what we are grateful for, but they often come with stress, as well. Today provides seven tips for reducing stress and easing tension with the holidays and your family.
- Don’t travel when everyone else is
Avoid traveling during peak travel hours. This is an easy way to reduce your stress during the holiday season. Work with the people you are celebrating with to determine what is the easiest and least stressful option for everyone. It will make the experience more enjoyable for all involved.
- Be realistic
Be honest with yourself and your loved ones on how much togetherness is realistic and how much is too much. If no one overstays their welcome, you will reduce the opportunity for tensions to build and conflict to break out.
- Stick up for yourself
It can be easy for family dynamics to revert back to younger days when everyone gets back together. If you’re the youngest, you may get treated as such even though you are now an adult. Be assertive and stick up for yourself. If your siblings or in-laws are speaking to your children in a way you don’t approve, tell them so.
- Pick your battles
Some things are worth engaging in a confrontation about – your kids, your values, your choices – and some things are not. As much as you should be ready to stick up for yourself, you should also be willing to compromise. This should go both ways.
- Be proactive with potential disagreements
Do your best to work out any possible problems prior to the holidays. Anything that can be solved via the phone before the big day should be so you have less to worry about when everyone gets together.
- Prep some comebacks
You know your family and what they will likely point out. Think about some one-liners you can shoot back when that moment occurs. Make sure they are not overly confrontational but assertive enough to get your point across that that is not something you want to talk about.
- Assess each relationship and recognize its value
Take the time to focus on your relationships and grow them. This will help remind you what you are thankful for in each of your loved ones and ease any hurt that can build when you are separated.