The holidays are a time to get together and connect with your loved ones, however, sometimes that can bring up a lot of old, sometimes painful stuff. Family is unique because they’ve known you forever, they were assigned to you not chosen by you and the rules of common etiquette (ex. “You got SO fat this year!”) doesn’t apply when it comes to family.
Whether your people are typically well behaved or your family is known for being completely out of order, read this Holiday Survival Guide as a way to make it gracefully through the “holi-daze”.
1. Create Your Protective Bubble of Positive Energy
Grab your crystals, do some EFT, burn some incense, get acupuncture, chant, pray, drum circle or whatever you need to do to get your positive energy strong enough to withstand any tidal waves of craziness that could come your way. Seriously! During other times of the year you’re usually around people you have a similar thought base and lifestyle to, however, this is a unique time where all kinds of folks are thrown into the same pot. When you’re energy is solid and in the right place you’ll be able to see the situations for what they are and won’t be as easily irritated by circumstances that arise.
2. Monitor Your Energy
Here’s what to do this holiday season so you don’t loose your cool. Look at your patience like you’re Luigi from Mario Bros (I was always Player 2, what can I say I’m the baby of the family). Keep a check of how much “life” (i.e. patience) you have left, because it’s truly your lifeline. If it’s running low, honor that and step away from the situation and do something from step 1 (above) to get your protective bubble of positive energy back intact. Don’t take this step for granted and “should” all over yourself at the dinner table (ewwww). This isn’t a time to say “I’m a reiki master, I’m a coach, I study this stuff, I shouldn’t be bothered…” Check in with yourself, be honest about what’s coming up and if you’re triggered, get away so you can fill up your tank up again.
3. Spin It and Make It Positive (even if just in your mind)
Instead of thinking of how evil Aunt Gertrude always is (everyone has that one evil aunt right?), instead think of how thankful you are that she is healthy and vibrant enough to be giving everyone a hard time. Or if you have two uncles that constantly get into arguments over nothing, give thanks they are of sound mind and healthy enough to string coherent sentences together, because even though it’s annoying it’s a blessing. It’s not to try to make everything “all good” when it’s not, but, having these little thoughts going on in your head, as you move through your holiday season, will give you a smile on your face when everyone else has a furrowed brow. Warning: you may get some “what’s SHE so happy about”, glares or comments, but just be happy they noticed your positive disposition and keep it pushing (straight to the egg nog).
4. Prep Your Answers, NOW
Is there a specific question, situation or topic you dread may come up? Here’s what you can do to handle that situation: Prep your answers now.
Check out these 4 Ways to Handle Sticky Conversations (and feel free to come up with your own!):
1) Give Just Enough + An Anecdote: Q: “How’s work going?”, A: “It’s going pretty good, I’ve made friends with the new HR rep and we’ve been going to lunch together, so it’s been a positive couple of months”. Now, we all know they were digging to find out if you’ve finally got that promotion, but by giving the information YOU want to give, they won’t feel starved for information and you can keep your personal business personal.
2) You Be The Asker: Take an active interest in the life of the interrogator OR for every question they ask you, just ask them the same question back, plus ask them a follow up question. “How is work going for YOU, Aunt Gertrude? Oh nice, do you think next year is going to even busier than this year?”. If at any time it’s feels too much like a game of ping-pong OR they are really pressuring you, you can say, “Gosh, this is starting to feel like an interrogation, let’s talk about the ca-razy mid-season finale of “How To Get Away With Murder”, this is a party afterall.”
3) Keep it Real: Family can be pushy and social norms and pleasantries don’t always work with…Evil Aunt Gertrude. So, you’re at total liberty to say, “All conversations about my work/love life/bank account/lifestyle etc. is off limits for the night. I just want to be with you all and enjoy the moment, I’m not really in the mood to talk about ___”. You can even add a “Thanks for understanding”, to really shut it down. If they keep pushing, they’re blatantly pushing your boundaries and being disrespectful and you can (pleasantly or not so pleasantly) say, “I’ve said all I’m going to say about that”, then go get yourself some egg nog!
I don’t want to paint the picture that the holidays are a negative time because they are not, BUT I know it can be anxiety-producing for some people (especially for my zen sistas out there), so I wanted to put together this survival guide for anyone who needs it.
May the Force Be With You & Happy Holidays!!