While holiday get-togethers are supposed to be all about family, friends, thankfulness, and positivity, they aren’t always perfectly idealistic. Regardless of our best intentions, tensions can arise, and the season can suddenly become more stressful than it should be. Of course, there are things you can do to help make things more peaceful and joyous.
1. Be somewhat flexible.
Selflessness is often key when it comes to taming holiday tensions. Making occasional concessions can make things easier for everyone involved and help lower stress levels as well. It’s not uncommon for holiday gatherings to cause some folks to be on edge. However, what’s important is enjoying time with loved ones in a happy, healthy atmosphere.
2. Be realistic.
Not everything has to be perfect. While we’re bombarded with completely unrealistic holiday imagery, it’s important to remember that it isn’t what the season is about. We shouldn’t allow advertising and other media to make ourselves or anyone else we care about feel inadequate. Again, remember what matters most is not how picture-perfect things turn out.
3. Mind your budget.
Overspending can easily lead to remorse, regret, and – ultimately – stress. Make sure your holiday purchases, including travel expenses, are well within your budget before committing to them.
4. Avoid topics of conflict.
Neither you nor anyone else should intentionally bring up sore subjects that could cause potential feuding. It’s common sense, we know, but it happens all the time. Don’t let anyone pull you into discussing a topic that you both know you’ll disagree about. If there’s an existing disagreement that needs settling, save that thought for another day.
5. Practice healthy habits.
Often, it’s easy to let things like diet and exercise fall by the wayside during the holidays. Exercise, however, is a good way to ease tension and relieve stress. Don’t let social obligations be an excuse not to practice good habits like exercising regularly and eating healthy.
5. Don’t over-commit.
It’s surprisingly easy to overdo it during the holidays. Try to resist spreading yourself too thin with various commitments so you don’t accidentally exhaust yourself. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of personal time for rest and reflection.