Holidays are a time for celebrations with family. Time with family creates some of the most memorable holiday experiences as we recall warm moments of cooking family recipes, following traditions, and bringing up old Attachment issues.

For many people, celebrating with family brings up both the warm memories and the painful ones. Nothing can make a fully-grown adult feel more like a tiny child again that immersing themselves into their old family dynamic.

As a growth-focused individual, you have worked hard to heal yourself, your past traumas, and your Attachment wounds, but families rarely change their dynamic. Holidays can trigger old wounds and cause you to relive the negative feelings you thought you had put to rest years ago.

Use These 6 Tips to De-Stress the Holiday Season

Tip #1 Ration the Wine and Spirits

In many families, wine and spirits flow faster than spring runoff in the Rockies. After all, it’s easier to put up with mom’s nagging about the lumps in the gravy when you soften your senses with a nice pinot noir. Unfortunately, alcohol loosens tongues and inhibitions and can catalyze a fire simmering beneath the surface of light family conversation. Drink wisely.

Tip #2 Be a Duck

If you have a family, you’ve probably been the victim of subtle digs by someone with whom you share DNA. Growing up and creating a life of your own doesn’t mean that the tiger-poking will ever stop. Practice being a duck. Let these little digs roll off your back. Remember that even with monk-like concentration, this can be a difficult task. Practice makes perfect!

Tip #3 Leave Politics and Personal Beliefs at the Door

Unless you and your family share both political and spiritual beliefs, it’s a good idea not to descend into this dangerous territory. Minds are unlikely to change, but opinions are likely to drive a pecan pie-sized wedge through your celebration.

Tip#4 Accept What You Must

As someone who has traveled the path of spiritual growth, change may be a natural part of your existence. Since the more we change, the easier it is to remain malleable and open to self-improvement.

Keep in mind that most people will dig their heels in the sand and refuse to budge when it comes to their personalities and habitual behaviors. Rather than expecting your family to flow as easily with change as you do, learn to accept people for who they are and try to focus on the qualities you admire. Overlooking their faults and negative traits is not giving them a free pass; it’s saving your sanity and your celebration.

Tip #5 Don’t Break the Budget

Families everywhere go into debt each year during the holidays in order to give just the right gifts to everyone on their list. This alone can make holiday celebrations more stressful. Be the one to initiate a name drawing or a monetary limit to keep holiday spending under control.

Ask for help with the big dinner! Assign a dish to everyone so the burden does not fall on one person. You can ask everyone to bring a favorite recipe printed out to share.

Tip #6 Come Back to Love

When you feel you might have reached the end of your patience, focus on love. Even if they drive you mad, you still love your family and it’s the reason you spent the last four days cleaning the house and preparing delicious food for everyone to enjoy. Love is really all that matters and all of our holiday celebrations are limited.

Stop by Facebook and tell us about your holiday celebrations or reach out for some extra support. Happy, stress-free holidays!