The holidays bring a lot of different challenges to people for many different reasons. Financially, emotionally or mentally it can be a draining period of time. It does not have to be though. Finding the right balance can make your holiday more enjoyable.
Some people find dividing their time to be the most difficult part. Almost everyone wants to spend time with his or her family, but too much time can be overwhelming. You might feel swallowed up. We’ve all seen the classic scenes of families getting together enjoying their company, then 15 minutes later the conversation has turned into argument, uncomfortable moments and turmoil. I was speaking with someone recently who mentioned to me that they have a tough time enjoying the holidays strictly for this reason.
“I don’t enjoy spending a whole day with my family because it inevitably turns into a finger pointing, shouting match. I love them, and I want to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s around them, but not at the cost of feeling distain and annoyance with certain members of my family.” Unfortunately, he mentioned how he’s stuck in a tough situation. His family recognizes he’s not around as much and takes it as a sign of distain and separation. “I don’t want to alienate myself from my family, but finding the right amount of balance can be difficult.”
Overcoming these habits of mind and finding balance within yourself for the holidays can be a challenge. Give yourself a break. Be gentle with yourself. Get really curious. Who are these people? What do you love/like about them. How do you reflect each other? Don’t let yourself get caught up in the moment of a reaction.
Present yourself with realistic expectations for the holidays. If you have a specific vision of what the holidays are supposed to be like, don’t let that dictate what happens. Chances are they may not live up to the idealistic vision you have of what will happen. Don’t worry about holiday spirit and take the holidays as they come. At the same time, don’t have too little expectations. Some people go into the holidays with expectations so low that it makes them more depressed. Limiting your expectations, both good and bad, will make them more enjoyable.
The holidays in the end are meant to be pleasant, entertaining and a time to spend with people you care about. Finding a balance in your time and expectations can help make the days, weeks and month go by smoothly and enjoyably.