Practice of the Month

3 Good Ways To Remain Calm During The Holiday Season And Beyond!

We are well into the holiday season with a lot of family and friend time. Time to reconnect and celebrate. It is the year end triple play so to speak – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. As the song goes – “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”!

3 Good Ways To Remain Calm During The Holiday Season And Beyond

Right? Well maybe so and maybe not. As families and friends gather close together, they bring with them their unique character traits. Maybe character flaws. Uncle Carl who drinks a bit too much, “Nosy Rosy” who’s quick to be in everyone’s business, or Uncle Andrew and his strong political views may all be together for the first time in a while. Add in a bit of COVID concerns and the year-end get togethers can be a real challenge.

Here are three Good Ideas on how to remain calm during the holiday season and long thereafter too.

Good Idea #1. Focus on yourself.

Specifically, watch for your own reactive patterns and catch hold of them before they catch hold of you. For example, watch for your tendency to:

  • Dominate or duck out of conversations.
  • Distract (or protect) yourself with busy activities.
  • Spend time on your cell phone rather than with people.
  • Agree with others to avoid conflict
  • Arrive late and/or leaving early.
  • Skip or make excuses not to attend the gathering at all.

Good Idea #2. Work on yourself.

Having caught yourself in a reactive pattern, “jump on the balcony” as we like to say, and be curious about the situation by asking yourself:

  • What is really making me anxious?
  • What part of my anxiety is of my own doing or my own not doing?
  • What are the responsible actions for me to take?

Good Idea #3. Reflect on yourself.

Looking back on the situation a day or so later, consider:

  • What triggered my reactivity in this recent situation?
  • What better options do I have in these types of situations?
  • Next time, what will I do to be at my best?

The holidays are indeed both a special time and a stressful time. If you are able to focus on, work on and reflect on your own functioning, you have a better chance at less stress and more joy in the weeks ahead and in the years ahead too.

Happy Holidays to you!