The holidays can put a strain on even the best relationships, causing stress at a time when you should be celebrating. It is a time of year when you are likely to take on too much and find yourself running from one errand to the next, trying desperately to complete your “to do” list when you should ideally be enjoying the love and companionship of friends and family.
When it comes to gatherings you may need to endure the company of family members who seem to know how to “push your buttons”. If you are single, then the holiday images of happy families you see in the media may bring up feelings of loneliness, perhaps causing you to withdraw from the relationships of friends. If you are in a relationship then the added stress of hosting difficult family members, attending numerous social events and relying upon each other to complete tasks may create additional strain. But with the right emotional strategies and tools, the holidays really can be not only less stressful, but peaceful and enjoyable.
Here are some things to keep in mind to handle relationships as the holidays approach:
- The only person responsible for your feelings is YOU. You can decide how you want to feel and find ways to shift your attitude to create days filled with positive approaches and experiences. While the stressors may always be there, it is up to you to choose your response.
- Acknowledge and honor other people’s feelings and restrain yourself from accusing them of being wrong for what they feel or believe. During the holidays you are bound to encounter not only different beliefs about religion, but about traditions, priorities, and raising children. It is best to avoid confrontation that centers upon judgment or being critical. That said, it is perfectly acceptable to disagree and have different points of view or beliefs. Stay true to your beliefs and don’t force them on others. For feelings of being too judgmental or hypercritical of others, consider the Bach remedy Beech. Willow remedy can also prove helpful if you feel resentful and bitter toward others or life, or you hold feelings of self-pity.
- Set appropriate boundaries. This is so important to your sanity. Be sure to remove yourself appropriately from people who you feel are a toxic influence in your life. If they are visiting relatives then you may be able to find ways to “escape” with friends or other family members. Do get professional help if you’re being abused. You may not be able to break the abuse cycle on your own. If you feel held back by the influence of stronger personalities then Bach remedy Walnut may help.
- If someone doesn’t like you, fill yourself with love for the amazing being that you are, accept the situation and move on. Other more valuable people will fill in the gap. Surround yourself with like-minded, positive people and you may find your stress melt away. Centaury remedy can provide assistance in cases where you feel subservient to others and unable to set strong boundaries.
- Find creative solutions to relationship difficulties. Bring your best and most positive self to each relationship and allow your inner radiance to show. Set a strong intention to create positive relationships. If you feel shy or timid and fearful about reaching out to form new relationships, then Mimulus remedy can provide support for dealing with such known fears. If you’re stuck, seek professional guidance.
In addition to using the emotional support strategies mentioned here to deal with holiday stress, consider taking a Bach remedy to enhance relationships during the holidays. Each remedy restores the positive virtues of your thoughts, feelings and attitudes, as well as various personality attributes.
May your holidays be filled with peace, love and light.