Before you spend back-to-back days with those who may share more of your DNA than your point of view, we want to help get you into the right holiday headspace. Find peace on the piece of Earth where you live or spend the holidays, and enjoy this time of year with your people, no matter what.
Let’s start here: Think about how you want to show up this year, and set some boundaries. If you’re anticipating conflict, do something different this time. There’s a strong chance yule find s’more harmony if you can follow a few of these tips from our Campowerment Experts, to keep your own energy merry and bright this holiday season:
- “Have those hard conversations you’ve been avoiding BEFORE you head into the family shindig,”says Marnie Nir, Sr. Life Coach, Handel Group. “What we don’t realize is that hard conversations become harder the more we don’t have them.” Marnie says our thoughts create our reality, and the more we keep them bottled up, the more they amass, and the more “true” they feel, when, in reality, there is no such thing as THE truth. There’s your truth and their truth, and the closest to “the” truth we have is where those two intersect.
- If you’re a parent, celebrate what your kids are doing RIGHT for the next few weeks. They’re on vacation, so cut them some (well, maybe just a little) slack. Joanna Kleinman is a Psychotherapist and Creator of “Dethroning Your Inner Critic,” which addresses the automatic voice in your mind that talks incessantly about how and where you’re not enough. When she is on her throne, you can get stuck in your expectations about the way the holidays are supposed to be. Joanna encourages us to remember that even though that Critic will always automatically look for what’s wrong, YOU can make the conscious choice to look for what’s right and be kind even when you’re frustrated. There’s a good chance your kids might even mirror this new behavior. Remember that people sometimes react from their own inner critics, and their actions are not personal to you. Stay present to all of the blessings and love in your life and take the time this holiday season to celebrate that.
- Begin a family journal centered around the meaningful holiday traditions that do foster connection between your people. “Focus on the positive things you do year after year and ask everyone to write a little something about their one favorite holiday ritual in a shared journal,” says Grandy, Campowerment’s 82 year old Journaling Expert. “Be the keeper of the holiday journal and bring it back year after year.” Building new memories together is the key to maintaining harmony, even if politics or old wounds threaten to hijack your holiday.
- The nostalgia during holiday season can be a bit blinding, Dr. Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D, says, and “having your hopes dashed” can be as much a holiday tradition as baking snowman cookies or reading “The Night before Christmas.” She advises everyone to let this be the year that you do things differently and maintain your boundaries. When a difficult family member starts his/her usual rant – just hold your tongue, smile inwardly knowing nothing is changing except thew way you react to the same repetitive situation. Dr. Ramani suggests making a list of “neutral” conversation topics: talk about the weather outside, the new M and M’s flavors and colors, the gentrification of the neighborhood where you all grew up together. She also suggests we get creative: bring paint by number canvases for everyone and take charge of arts and crafts activity (or put someone else in charge of that!). Bring a board game or bingo cards and markers to avoid talking about gun control or your brother’s divorce. There is only so much conflict that can occur when people are figuring out if they have “O64” and making a concerted effort to say BINGO.
Like it or not, your behavior will likely set the stage for everyone around you, so start with YOU. Create the holiday experience you want to have, and watch the world around you follow suit.