Having family is wonderful and what would we do without them, BUT at the same time, family can be challenging. This is especially true for special occasions and holidays.
Family gatherings are meant to be relaxing; a time to enjoy being together in harmony and love without judgment or high expectations.
So, why is it that most of the time it is not like this? Well, family members feel very entitled to opinions, give suggestions, and have expectations that are sometimes overbearing and unfair to you.
Here are some tips to help you get through those dreaded family gatherings that may be bringing you unnecessary anxiety and stress.
First, you must be the change you want to see in others and in the particular situation. How you react and act are key in showing your family how you would like to be treated, and what is fair to you in all aspects. Lead by example and put judgments aside. Everyone is different and some people are very set in their ways. You, yourself, may be one of those people who is very set in your ways. If that is the case, then try to shift your thinking and attitude to achieve a better relationship with your family.
This will also show a good example of how family gatherings and holiday get-togethers should look like.
If you are hosting, make sure that being the host feels right for you. If you feel that you are being “forced or guilted” into hosting the gathering and you accept under those conditions, chances are you will be stressed out and not enjoy yourself. You may also feel resentful and this is no way to host or an ideal feeling. So, politely allow yourself to say “no,” but have a plan B so you don’t come across as not wanting to join the occasion.
It is alright to cater in so you do not slave yourself in the kitchen all day (unless that is your passion of course). Ask your guests to bring a dish or beverage to pass. If another family member is hosting, then offer to bring something or help out in some way.
Always keep in mind why this gathering is taking place: Is it a birthday, anniversary, religious celebration? Whatever the case may be, let that be your motivation and do not assume anything else. Just show up and be present.
Get prepared by trying these tips before and after family gatherings. Most importantly, be yourself.
- Remember to breathe.
- Take time off for yourself. Book an appointment for a manicure, pedicure or facial.
- A Reiki session is sure to help you relax to the max and help you manage/get rid of stress.
- Relax with soft music.
- Before bed, light a scented candle and sit by the fireplace with your favourite book or magazine.
- Again if you are hosting, share the hosting responsibilities and get the kids involved, they can help.
- Make things ahead of time.
- Take time away from cell phones, social media and work emails.
- Try yoga.
- Aromatherapy works wonders. Colour energy offers oil roll-on glass sticks with many different scents. Rubbing a little on the palm of your hands in the morning before you get out of bed or by taking a whiff is sure to put you in the right, relaxed, happy mood.
- Avoid a lot of alcohol as it dehydrates your body, making your liver work overtime. Drink as much water as you do alcohol, as this will keep you hydrated and help you deal with stress.
- Meditate for a few minutes, calm your mind.
- Have fun and laugh a lot!
For those of you traveling this holiday season, don’t wait until the last minute to pack! Take these tips with you. Enjoy, relax and have a safe trip wherever your destination may be.
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