4 Tips for Holiday Harmony

Self, Family

Prevent holiday stresses from affecting your relationships with loved ones

Christmas is a special time for families. However sometimes the pressures of the holiday season can bring out the worst between family members – just when we’re hoping to celebrate what’s best.

Here are 4 tips for preventing friction between you and your loved ones, at this special time of year:

1. Be conscious of your expectations.
We’re prone to having high (sometimes unrealistic) expectations when it comes to this special celebration. Disappointments abound when we try to orchestrate how others will think, feel and behave. 5 Tips For Making Holiday Plans With Your Partner

So ferret out those expectations regarding people and things you can’t control. For example:
• Expecting your spouse/child/friend to LOVE their gift and express their gratitude in a particular way.
• Expecting that everyone in the family will treat each other lovingly every moment.
• Expecting your house/the dinner/the decorations/the company to be “perfect”.
Notice your expectations and decide if they are helping or hindering you from enjoying the season and your relationships. If they’re not, you may want to let them go.

2. Take responsibility for your feelings.
When we’re stretched to the max with our to-do lists, it can seem like the world is conspiring to frustrate us. However, no one can MAKE you feel angry or irritable this holiday season. The actions of others may be a trigger for your feelings, however they didn’t cause them and they are not to blame. So take a deep breath and go easy on those around you! 10 Signs You Should Break Up This Holiday Season

Similarly, no one can MAKE you feel happy, loving and peaceful. Decide how you want to “be” this Christmas (no matter what) and take responsibility for authoring your own experience.


3. Make requests. Make requests. Make requests.
Christmas just doesn’t happen. As we all know, it can involve a lot of organization and tasks. Don’t expect others to read your mind regarding your needs. Don’t be a martyr (the one doing it all and resenting it) or a victim (the one feeling blamed by the martyr and resenting it). Ask for help when you need it. Take a break when you need one. And remember: Whether you’re making a request or responding to one, any request can be accepted, declined or negotiated.

4. Count your blessings.
If you’re not feeling in the Christmas mood, sit down and make a list of everything and everyone you have to be thankful for. By the time you’ve finished, it won’t matter what happens next – you’ll already be experiencing the joys of Christmas.Life Coach: How Do I Survive The Holidays?!