Is the upcoming festive period starting to stress you out?

What happens when things don't go according to plan? A few strong words, a bit of a blow up and then the tension builds and you say to yourself 'there you go again, making me the one that has done it all wrong'!

What can you do to avoid or at the very least, reduce some of these stressful moments from arising and ensure that the festive period goes as smoothly as possible? We are all entitled to enjoy not only the festivities themselves, but an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends with a sense of peace and calm so that we walk away saying to ourselves 'that was a great day'!

Did you know that it is possible to find that path of least resistance and find a sense of calm in what could be a tense and stressful time?

Want to know how to support yourself during this time?

Interestingly, I had a client a few weeks ago who needed strategies around how to deal with 'the family' so he decided to pop in for a 'tune up' before they all gathered together. Realising that every year leading into the festive break, he would always find himself getting a little short tempered, small things were getting his back up and overall he was not looking forward to catching up with everyone. His recollection of past experiences were never fabulous so he started to talk himself into believing that this year it will be the same as always - just not a whole lot of fun.

Can you see what he was doing? He was 'convincing' himself that things would be the same again this year so the lead up was once again, not nice.

We talked through some of the obvious stress points such as a sister who always bated him, a mother who put him down and other siblings that kind of liked a bit of confrontation which made him feel bad. So we decided to turn it around.

He acknowledged that he took on board what others said or didn't say and made a big deal of it and this exasperated how he would feel...so our goal in this 'tune up' session was to put in place a series of strategies to support him through these moments:

  • slow things down - rather than reacting to negative talk from others, take a moment to think about what is being said
  • ask yourself 'is this important to respond to' or, 'do I need to defend myself'. If you stop and think about it, it is hard work to try and 'convince' another person to think and speak like you and in reality, does it matter? I mean really, people are going to think and say what they want, so trying to alter who you are and what you are to suit others is a never ending cycle. Be honest with yourself and know that if there is no provocation from you to them, then the negative narrative that may be sent your way is not about you...it is about them, it is their stuff
  • when you view another person's story through a curious lens, you will step away from your natural defensive responses and allow yourself to consider if it is necessary to respond
  • be tolerant of others - they are entitled to their opinion so don't take it personally
  • find it within yourself to stay in your lane and don't give up your power to someone else who is not looking after your best interest

There are so many simple, real life strategies that you can employ to enable you to live your life with the least amount of challenges that may be afflicted by others,  which may come down to choices, some simple guided strategies tailored to you, in order to navigate these moments in time, allowing yourself to enjoy, no matter where you are.

Great news about the above client - it worked! He flew through the family gathering and was amazed that he could stand in the middle of his sisters and mothers drama and not be drawn into it. He was supportive of their plight, acknowledged them and listened and just allowed them to be heard. Interestingly both his mum and sister said it was the best family gathering they could remember in a long time...go figure!

Sometime it takes another perspective to give you some simple, real life strategies in order to 'stay in your lane' and just be ok with everyone being themselves.

Time for a tune up? Make an appointment here.

 

 

 

Read More Articles
All Content Copyright © 2024 Shifting Tides Counselling. Website Design Gold Coast by Shared Marketing
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram