The holidays can be an extremely stressful time of the year. There almost always seems to be one or two people that can get under your skin and make any gathering uncomfortable. Below I offer 5 ways to help you stay calm, relaxed and survive the holidays. Use one of the ways or all of them to help you at any gathering, whether it’s Christmas, related or not. Be happy, be kind, and enjoy the holidays.
1) Take time for you
You’ll want to take some time for you. Just for you. It could be a workout, meditation, going for a short walk, getting a cup of coffee or anything really. During this time you want to remind yourself of things that bring you happiness, things that calm you, and things that bring you joy. Doing any of these things fills you up and fills your cup as it were. That way you can continue to give and help others.
This one ties into the first and that is to breath. It’s amazing how quickly someone can get under your skin. They can say one word and your blood starts to boil. When this happens, take a little bit and breath. As crazy as this may sound I intentionally think of breathing in calmness, serenity, and peace as I breathe in, and exhale all stress, frustrations, and anger. It sounds strange but has helped me!
2.5) Countdown from 5
This tip I learned from reading the book “5 Second Rule”. Essentially when you need to make a decision or if someone is aggravating you before you respond, count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then respond. Doing this gives your brain enough time to stop, process the thought, and then respond accordingly. Give it a try!
3. Offer compliments and positivity first
Don’t get sucked into the negativity. Instead, be the first to start spreading positivity. And if you’re not first, it’s ok. Just share some positivity, give people compliments, and help them feel amazing. One way to increase your own positivity and happiness is to spread it and share it with others.
4. Don’t take it personally
This one is easier said than done. But do your best to not let anyone get under your skin. They are picking on you and being mean because they are struggling with something. It has nothing to do with you. Don’t take it personally. They are struggling, you are not.
Perhaps they honestly think they are helping you. If that is the case, have a polite conversation with them and let them know that you don’t appreciate it and how they can give feedback so it doesn’t bother you. They won’t know unless you tell them.
5. Surround yourself with happy people
This one may sound basic but it can be so easy to get sucked into negativity and be surrounded by people who aren’t helping you. So do your best to find and hang out with people who bring you happiness, who support you, and encourage you to be your best. Limit your time with negative people. Whether by walking away or scheduling a limited amount of time at the gathering. I will give this word of caution. Be careful if the people you surround yourself start to turn negative. Not necessarily towards you but others. It is easy to get sucked into but you want to and should lift people up and not demean them. So be careful and surround yourself with other positive people.
Extra) Alcohol intake
Extra little bonus on alcohol. Do you use drinking as an excuse to “get through” or “survive” the holidays? If you said yes, why? There’s nothing wrong with having a drink and enjoy it but if you are using it as a crutch to get you through, then you are abusing it. Don’t dull your senses, your reactions, and essentially you by having too much. Be smart about it, drink within reason, and stay focused on being positive and finding the good things that are happening!