It is that time of year again, if spending time with the family is not the easiest see if any of these tips can help you for those difficult moments. If you just take one and try it out, it will be better than not having any support for the moment.
Time with family can trigger many emotions from the past or the present. If you have chosen to spend the time with family finding it stressful the best thing you can do for yourself is to be considerate and thoughtful in your actions with yourself and with your family.
- If possible take a break and leave the room. Find a quiet space, even the bathroom will do. Compose yourself by taking at least three deep breaths. As you exhale, imagine a little bit of the tension leaving your body. (I find it helpful to visualize a dark cloud dissipating.
- Gather your thoughts and let your feeling settle.
- Keep your focus on exactly what has been going on that is causing you the stress. Is it the overall situation or one person in particular?
- Once you know specifically what has thrown you off balance, think about what you can now do to influence how you are feeling.
- Is it a question of acceptance i.e. ‘You cannot change people but you can change how you react to them’, then ask yourself what do you have to accept? Is it how this person behaves that rubs you the wrong way, or do you have left over wounds that could use some attention, or are you simply exhausted and not in the mood for a family gathering, or...
- Think carefully of what exactly you can influence in this moment. Can you influence how others are, can you influence the overall mood or can you influence how you are?
- Having thought things through you may find your perspective on the problem has changed. Remember the only thing you can influence is your reaction to events – not the events themselves!
- Hopefully you will find that haven taken these few moments for yourself to consider what is causing you the stress will have left you feeling a bit calmer and more grounded to re-enter the room more composed.
It is a short lived event, comes around only once per year, these days life seems to fly by, is full of uncertainty.
Be sure you do not have any regrets.
If you need to make some changes ... the New Year is around the corner ... a great time to focus on change.