The holidays are a wonderful time for spending quality time with loved ones, but they may be much less enjoyable if you have difficult family members. Perhaps you have an aunt who can’t help but criticize every detail of your home or siblings who love to bring up confrontational topics over dinner. To minimize the anxiety that goes along with these difficult situations, here are some stress relief tips to help you get back to enjoying what you really love about the holidays.
How to Deal With Difficult Loved Ones This Holiday Season
1. Focus on Your Behavior
You cannot control what other people do; you can only control your actions. Instead of blaming yourself for something that went wrong or getting worked up about an offhand comment, remember that you’re only responsible for yourself. Take a few deep breaths or politely suggest a change of subject rather than reacting quickly in anger or defensiveness.
2. Plan Some Light Conversation Topics
If you know of specific subjects that will result in arguments, try to avoid them altogether. Again, you can’t control whether someone else brings them up, but do your part. Think of happier or less controversial topics to bring up at dinner and try to keep those conversations going.
3. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
You’re less able to control your reactions and behavior if you’ve had one too many. Set a limit for yourself and try not to let others over-indulge either.
4. Practice Gratitude
Regardless of your family’s difficulties, you still love them. When they test your patience, take a deep breath and remind yourself of something you’re thankful for about your family. This change in attitude can make it easier for you to calmly deal with the situation.
Whether you need stress relief tips for the holidays or other areas of your life, turn to Goal Focused Results in Kaneohe, HI, for help. Founder Roanne Abe is a certified life coach who has helped clients through a variety of difficult situations. Whether you’re looking to improve your health and wellness, reach your professional goals, or work on your personal life, she will help you develop a plan with concrete action steps toward reaching your goals. Schedule a free clarity session online or call (808) 386-2834 to discuss your stress relief needs.