The first thing that comes to mind when you say Christmas, is family. Now no matter how much you love your family, spending time with them over the holiday season can be draining. Often we can find ourselves slipping into old behavioural patterns, playing a particular role within the family dynamic, and dropping good habits to accommodate others. All in all, this results in feelings of frustration.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
I believe the key to a truly joyful Christmas with the family, comes down to staying truthful to who you are and your needs, regardless if others see things differently.
- If you like exercising during the week when others prefer to watch TV / take a nap / sunbathe…don’t worry about it, simply go move your body.
- If you don’t eat certain foods that other’s serve, that’s perfectly acceptable, just make sure you’ve brought what you need with you and have it available during joint meals.
- If you need time to yourself to recharge then take that time and let others know you’re popping out for a bit.
- If you don’t see eye to eye of certain topics, it’s ok to end the conversation or remove yourself from the situation completely.
Now it’s natural to feel a little uncomfortable when reading this, as family are often the ones who resist change in us the most, and it feels easier to revert back to the version of us they want. YET the long term benefits are far more rewarding when you give yourself and others a chance to accept and see you as you are.
If this is something you find yourself struggling with a lot when around loved ones, below are some great questions to reflect on and answer:
- What habits in my day-day life make me feel good, that I want to maintain over the holidays?
- What do I need to have in place to be able to follow through with these?
- What situations, or people, cause me to compromise on my habits and sense of self?
- What personal boundaries, or code of conduct, do I want to have in place when it comes to these situations or people moving forward?
To wrap this up I’ll hand it over to Dr Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Have a wonderful and safe break,