Merry... Family?

Photo by Artfoliophoto/iStock / Getty Images

Are you spending time with your family during the holidays?

Family time is all about sharing yummy food, remembering sweet memories, and doing fun things together, right?

Mmmmm.

What if these fun times were compromised by exhaustion from a year of hard work, unresolved conflicts, and wishes that so-and-so was not so fill-in-the-blank?

Here is a first-aid kit to rescue your family time if things have been challenging:

  • Take a deep breath. Actually, scratch that and take ten deep breaths. Breathing soothes the nervous system, reconnects you to the present moment and... it buys you time!
  • Remember that you can’t change people. You can either terminate the relationship or accept your people for who they are. Do you know that you can love someone without liking what they do or what they say?
  • In case of disagreement, always start by asking questions and trying hard to understand the feelings of the other person. Feelings are easier to understand and relate to that facts and statements.
  • When voicing a different opinion or giving a negative feedback, use “I” statements and do not make generalizations. Only talk about what is happening in the moment that you would like to be different.
  • If you have lost your temper, make amends. A sincere apology and expressing your wish to have said things differently go a long way to mend relationships.
  • Be grateful for what is good. Play detective to discover the best quality of each person around you and consider telling them about what you appreciate about them. Even the most difficult person has character qualities to enjoy.
  • Take another round of ten breaths.

Merry Christmas!