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Surviving the Holidays

Cantley CounselingUncategorized Surviving the Holidays

Surviving the Holidays

 

 

 

 

 

Now that we are in the full swing of the holiday season things can become very stressful if we let them. We like to put on the Hallmark Channel and watch those perfect movies, with the perfect families and perfect endings. We thumb through the magazines and see the Norman Rockwell “Esque” advertisements that show us what our holidays are supposed to look like. We look on Social Media and see other people looking perfect and seemingly with a perfectly well-behaved, my life is all together with family.

The reality is that most families don’t have it all together. They fight, they have drama, they love, they hate, they have good times and bad times. Sometimes life is messy and no family is perfect. Whew! Aren’t you glad to hear this? So, with all that being said how do you survive the holidays with your husband/wife and who’s ever family you are spending it with this year?

KAG (kindness, acceptance, and gratitude) oh and a little bit of self-care!

Kindness. When you begin to approach situations with kindness, you will feel calmer. If you keep your heart open and do all the lovely things you want to for your loved ones you will be amazed how your feelings will begin to change. Sometimes we close off our hearts to people that we think are not acting the way they should or if we think they have not been the kindest towards us or others. In the end, we are just punishing ourselves because we are the ones that are harboring. So be kind and do kind things for family and friends even if you think they don’t deserve it. By giving, you will begin to feel better.

Acceptance. When you start to accept the way people are you begin to feel lighter. It’s as if you are releasing the burden of judgment. Things begin to flow and you will be able to feel happiness instead of anger. I am not telling you not to keep your boundaries with family members who may try to cross your boundaries. I am simply telling you that if you see them with the lens of acceptance instead of judgment, you will begin to feel better. For example, let’s say you have an aunt who you only see at the holidays. Every year she asks you the same questions to which every year you have the same answers. She is also very loud. This drives you mad. Instead of letting it drive you mad just allow yourself to accept the fact that this how she behaves, be glad it’s not you. Accept it and move on. Normally changing the way we think takes time and practice, however, it’s just a few hours during the holidays so I think it is doable. It’s not biting your tongue either, it’s changing your perspective.

Gratitude changes your perspective almost immediately. If you begin to get upset in any way during this holiday season take a few deep breaths and start to list all of the things you are grateful for. You will be amazed how quickly you begin to feel calmer and almost energized as the positive thoughts begin to flow.

Enjoy this holiday season. The last thing you want is to be fighting with your spouse or other family members. Come together with joy, love, and laughter. Please remember if you begin to feel any upset go back to KAG (kindness, acceptance, and gratitude). When you look back at this time you will be so glad you did.

cantley
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