Tips to Decrease Holiday Stress Due to Toxic People

  • You control your own happiness

Stop letting others take your power away – you have a choice over how you respond to them that will either feel empowering, or bring you down. Don’t respond to bait, and forgive those that bait you; most often they aren’t even aware they are irritating you.

  • Honor yourself with good boundaries

Know what is yours, and what is theirs. Find your space, honor the space of others. Decide what’s OK for you, listen to what others say is OK for them. Communicate your boundaries clearly. And when communicating, remember to separate the person’s behavior, from the person (especially if it’s a family or friend you care about). The insensitive behavior of others cannot hurt you unless you let it. Use your voice to share what is true about you and what feels right in your inner self, and share it in a calm and clear way.

  • Expectations create unnecessary disappointment

The idea that mom, dad, brother, sister, partner will transform unto the person that will meet your needs and finally get how amazing you are is a set up for failure. Accept them for who they are and plan for the expected and unexpected words and behavior with humor and fun.

  • Plan ahead with strategies for self-care

Create a plan that involves your strengths and affirming who you are along with the growth and healing you have achieved. Sometimes going back to childhood home or older relatives feels like regressing to an earlier insecure self.  Stay true to your wise adult self, and have compassion for your needs and wants. Build-in self care such as: leaving early, exit strategy for difficult conversations, limited alcohol intake, and getting plenty of rest.

  • Be aware of what goes in and what comes out of your mouth

Over indulgence of alcohol, substances, and/or sugary food, easily creates a situation where there is little to no filter/inhibitions guarding what is said; and it is easier to prevent drama than to stop what hurt, conflict, and regret occurs when hurtful words are spoken accidentally (sometimes timing and audience make all the difference). Pause, breathe, relax… taking control of your own impulses feels more empowering than giving in to reactive behavior and hurting others.

  • Take time to rejuvenate, recover, and rest up; avoid over committing

Some events and people can drain our energy, plan for that and take what time and energy you need between events to recharge, giving yourself TLC. Then you will be more able to give freely of your time, patience, energy, and love; with an inner peace and calm body.

  • Focus on what you appreciate: in yourself, in others, in every situation

The holidays can be fun happy joyful as long as the focus stays on what you have over what you lack. Feeling grateful even if you would like to have more (money, time, family, friends, love, etc.). Enjoy what is, and more will come. Be creative about giving attention in ways that spread laughter and positivity. Show up to events ready to give and share, not focused on what will disappointments and expectations. It’s easier to be comfortable around people who care and listen, so be that caring compassionate person that lightens up the room.

  • Have fun, see the humor, lighten up

Tis the season to be jolly… not pissed-off, frustrated, depressed, anxious, and/or fearful.

Practice being in the moment. Enjoy the smells, lights, colors, tastes, and sounds that are here only once a year. And enjoy your friends and family