Connecting with Family and Friends over Christmas
Christmas is here and the New Year is just around the corner!
We’re taking a look at tips that’ll get you through the festivities with family, friends and colleagues. Ensure that you arrive in 2023 ready to go.
Shape Some Sensible Expectations
The holidays at the end of each year can be an amazing opportunity to recharge and reconnect with loved ones. Some people simply love every bit of the Year End parties, Christmas Day and New Years.
However, that feeling isn’t universal. For some, this period can also be a time of stress and pressure. Having realistic expectations and knowing your own personal triggers and limitations can make all the difference.
Diving headlong into a two-week-long intensive session with your full family and extended social circle comes with a lot of potential, but some risks. Consider these tips to make the most of the season:
- Treat yourself well: you’ll be in a much better position to enjoy yourself and help others if you’ve looked after your own wellbeing. Practice self-care.
- Aim for the positives: if you love a particular part of the holidays, make sure you carve out that time. Maybe its Christmas activity that’s a sure-fire hit with the family. Maybe it’s a coffee or a beer with that essential friend.
- Set some boundaries: if you can’t attend every event, or you’ll enjoy the event more by just staying for a few hours, that’s ok. Knowing your limits and avoiding your individual triggers can really help you to enjoy the holidays.
- Be mindful when drinking: when taken too far, alcohol can be the spark for a lot of disagreements and regrets. Simple steps like spacing your drinks can keep you in the right frame of mind.
Spending time with family is really important to build happy memories. But, family occasions can be tricky, and depending where you live, this year has the added complexities of COVID interruptions.
A few tips can really help keep your family festivities going in the right direction.
- Share the load: a lot of work goes into Christmas get-togethers. Be willing and ready to help out.
- Be ready to compromise: there is a lot of goodwill when the day is made easy.
- Let bygones be bygones: embrace the now, rather than dwelling on the past.
- Steer clear of controversy: maybe Christmas isn’t the time for controversial topics, and you’ll probably already know the list. Agreeing to disagree can be a useful backup plan.
- Be kind: kindness goes a long way. Kindness wraps up a bundle of really positive relationships-building behaviours: tolerance, respect, empathy and inclusion.
Leading by example is a powerful way to transform relationships. It might not always work, but a few steps in the right direction might be all it takes.
The Christmas / New Year holidays can be fantastic but many of us will benefit from a sympathetic ear. Take the time to reconnect with where you’re at, and plan to connect with those who offer support, top up your self-esteem and bring wisdom to your life.