Suggestions for Sanity this Season
Don’t Let Political Turkeys Ruin Your Holiday Table… Stay Focused on the Gravy
[Published in over 500 media outlets, like the Boston Herald, ]
Many people will return home for the holidays stuck in magical thinking—hoping that their family dynamics will somehow be better this year. With so much divisiveness going on in the world, it is important to become proactive—offering new, meaningful choices into our lives with friends and family.
To help, I want to share three choices that have helped my clients tremendously over the last 25 years,
The holidays can easily trigger wounded dynamics. This time of year is one of the most common for depression--and there are hundreds of millions of people suffering from depression around the world. If that is you or someone you love, know that there are distinct ways you can set yourself up better this holiday.
Get clear about these options PRIOR to going home:
1. Create a healthy impact. If you want more peace, decide to stay out of conflicts. Many people are feeling anxious and wait for a familiar place to get their charged feelings out. When tender subjects are brought up, choose to listen more and get sucked into oppositional debates less.
Listening does not imply that you agree—only that you honor another person as an individual.
2. Practice taking deep breaths. Then when your instinct is to run out the door and catch an Uber, excuse yourself from the table instead. Take a moment in the bathroom to breathe and release your tension. Breathing deeply and releasing fully will save you from accumulating unnecessary stress and anxiety.
This will help when that predictable relative asks irritating questions or when Uncle Joe tells the same story for the 50th time. If you don't release the pressure, you might be the next one blowing up.
3. Stay focused on the gravy. Think of one positive quality or one enhancing moment you can remember with each person. Then find a good time to acknowledge or remind. If you set a meaningful tone, it will be much easier to stay sane when Aunt Flo tweaks you and you are tempted to tell her what to do with her favorite homemade stuffing.
Don’t be a turkey this year.