Despite all the pressure to find the right gifts for family and friends, and distribute the correct amount in bonuses and tips to our service providers during the holidays, I do love the fact that at the end of every year we must all take some time to think about others and recognize the role they play in our lives. That said, you don’t want to lose sight of the fact that with the precious time you will have off during the holidays, you need to carve out some me time, and you shouldn’t let others give you a guilt trip because you want a little time on your own.
All families have drama, and there is such a thing as too much time together. Only you know what triggers you and when you’re hitting your wall. This year, why not develop some coping and escape strategies in advance rather than trying to react in the moment? Another tip to keep in mind is this piece of advice my friend gives to her kids before they say anything in the heat of the moment: 1) is it kind? 2) is it necessary? 3) is it true? If the statement does not pass this three-prong test, then keep your mouth shut.
Now we all know there’s a limit to how much we can take from others and keep to ourselves. That being said, try to always take the high road. There’s a saying I love to share with my divorce clients, “don’t wrestle with a pig. The pig likes it, and you just get dirty.” Rather than make a scene, walk away and go do something you love to do– take a walk, practice some yoga while listening to music, go to the gym, hit golf balls at the driving range, treat yourself to a massage, go to the movies, find a quiet room to read a book or write in your journal or bake some cookies. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, go do it instead of getting dragged into family drama.
Hopefully you will eat a lot of yummy food, laugh a lot with loved ones, and be full of joy and gratitude as we close out 2018. If you are looking for some peace, however, don’t count on others to do that for you– that is something only you can create for yourself.
By Regina A. DeMeo