Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, and although this holiday is usually thought of as a day to be surrounded with loved ones, it can be stressful for many people. The images portrayed on TV of picture-perfect holiday gatherings may seem fictitious to those who have seen previous holiday dinners fall apart and continue in agonizing silence and seething anger. Here are some tips in reducing stress and conflict around the holidays.
- Be realistic and expect some tension to arise. It is common for some emotions to emerge when individuals of various personalities with differences of opinion come together. Be mindful when dealing with such emotions and lessen the likelihood that they will escalate into conflicts.
- Try to be understanding of your loved one’s actions. Remember that just because you might disagree with each other’s opinions does not mean that genuine feelings of love do not exist.
- Avoid topics that have caused tension in the past. If you feel like they might come up, think of subtle ways to change the topic or excuse yourself from the discussion.
- Share responsibilities. Delegating the work takes the load off of your back and gives others an opportunity to feel included in the festivities. Doing things as a group, instead of individually, also helps nurture relationships.
- Remind yourself of all the positive things you can look forward to instead of dreading the negative aspects of holidays. By doing this, you can avoid accumulating stress and wearing yourself out before the holidays even come to pass.
- Keep things simple. Your close family and friends probably don’t want much more than to be together during the holidays. Over-extending yourself with elaborate and intricate plans will drain you and distract you from the purpose of spending time with those closest to you. It will also leave you tired, which could leave you vulnerable to tension.
The most important thing is to remember the purpose of the holidays. It is a time for you to step out of the daily routine and surround yourself with your loved ones. Being around individuals with different views is tough, but just as the American Indians were able to get along with the early colonist of North America, so too can you look past petty differences and enjoy these precious times with your family.Tweet