The RELATIONS Festive Holiday Horror and the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it
The third of the Festive Holiday Horrors is about RELATIONS.
3. Dealing with all these RELATIONS / friends etc. (or NOT!)
One of the aspects of the Festive Holiday Horrors that can really make us cringe is having to deal with the RELATIONS.
To broaden this we will also include: ‘RELATIONS with….. office / neighbourhood / religious group and others’.
You may be in a situation where you really do not ‘like’ your relatives (you will not be alone) yet over the holidays there are the forced get togethers. You may feel ‘obliged’ to either be the host or the attendee at numerous potentially onerous gatherings.
This can add enormous strain on you (and them too!), the reaction to this is that you may eat and drink too much; just to help you get through it.
There are the ‘tug-of-wars’ – ‘You ate with them LAST year, now it’s our turn!’
The question is how to divide yourself between the in-laws and the out-laws.
The ones that you are ‘obliged’ to see may be your least favourite.
Then there is the other side of the coin, those of you who do NOT have RELATIONS of any sort, either by choice or circumstance.
Now people are asking, ‘What are you doing over the holidays?’ And you may have a painful ache that you are alone.
Then you are afraid that they will feel sorry for you and think that they need to invite you. Very difficult!
You can probably add some more RELATIONS Festive Holiday Horrors as well. So, what to do?
Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness – SAY ‘NO!’ (nicely!)
Take some time to reflect on what YOU really want.
Sometimes if you remove the feeling that you MUST do this or that and think fresh about the person / action, you can decide that you actually, on balance, DO want to do it. Now it is on YOUR terms and it feels much better.
You are taking positive action, rather than just robotically re-acting.
What follows may sound a bit morbid, but it provided a very valuable lesson to me.
A friend’s father died and the friend was filled with remorse because he had always been ‘Too busy’ to have a coffee or chat with his Dad and now he could not. Consider, if your person were to die soon, would you feel that you had done all for / with them that YOU wish?
If the answer is ‘Yes!’ then you have more freedom; if the answer is ‘No!’ then you may choose to make seeing them more important than something else.
Also there is often such a backlog of things all at once.
Do your best to group / manage and space them. Group several parties or visits together, this way you get dressed up once and can work out a route to see them. It also means you cannot stay TOO long as you are expected at the next one.
PLEASE have a designated NON-drinker with you, so you may drive safely.
Manage and space the gatherings by showing an example of having a ‘New Year in June’ party! Or an ‘After-holidays – bring your leftovers party!’ so you are not adding to the backlog.
Then look at all you have been invited to and prioritise them (using your criteria: e.g. most fun; best food; great dancing; interesting party; want to see their house; love the people; super venue etc!!) Then look at how they are spaced on your calendar. Decide how many you can afford (time-wise; calorie-wise; drinks-wise; sanity-wise) and select the most important for you.
Fit the others in as you feel is best, then speedily send your regrets to the ones you won’t attend, so they know how to plan.
Have a conversation with the relatives / friends that are expecting time with you, if you are really stretched, in any way
(time, money or emotions) be honest and ask for their help.
How can they assist you to manage the pressure? Can you invite them / visit them a week / month later?
Have an extendo-holiday and celebrate with them on that special occasion.
Whenever, for your own sanity and happiness you feel you need to say ‘No!’ please do it as nicely and considerately as you are able.
Asking for assistance and offering to make it easy for them to also regain some Festive Holiday Happiness may be a blessing for you both.
In all cases you’ll find your stress is decreased, because you have grabbed the reins of control of YOU, your time and your life.
To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness to overcome the Horror of RELATIONS are:
- Stop and think about what YOU really want.
- Do what you want and on your terms (action not re-action)
- Reflect whether you have fulfilled your ‘duty’ should they die.
- Group, manage and space the various parties & gatherings.
- Explain your stress to your relations/friends and ask for their help.
- Plan for extendo-celebrations so you can spread the enjoyment.
- Say ‘No!’ – as nicely as you can and with consideration
- Take control of YOUR time and YOUR life. EnJOY!!
(c) Mind Chi 2011