Bringing Your Best to Holiday Gatherings
Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings can be full of wonderful moments spent with people we love. I hope your gatherings are full of this.
- Before you meet, think about what you want to bring to the table: your wit, a great story, patience with your 'gift' person, and what do you want to leave in others' hearts and memories about you and this gathering?
- Attend to your greetings. You set the tone for the whole experience in the first ten seconds of greeting people. Set a kind, warm, or gracious tone.
- We have had much loss, and this gathering might be the first for someone who has recently lost a beloved or is making their way through grief and/or depression and is struggling with feeling thankful. Honor and support them.
- Remind yourself that people who may be challenging for you are important to the person you love. Honor your loved one by rising above pettiness. And have a sense of humor—we are all someone's challenging person!
- Remember your Q-TIP (Quit Taking It Personally). Let others be who they are. Their behavior is not about you. Let go of any urges you may feel to change, criticize, or fix others.
- Focus on positive aspects of your lives, share funny stories, and remember special family moments. Intentionally bring delight and positive pieces to the conversation.
- If you have children, be aware that you are teaching them important lessons about being kind, polite, and respectful. Model handling holiday gatherings with grace.
- Every awkward or tough situation needs someone to “step-up.” Be that person. Appreciate yourself for taking the high road. Breathe...
- Use gentle humor to lighten tense moments. Conflict requires two. Avoid it by not engaging in it. Maintain your perspective. It's just a party. You can do this.
- Have a long festivity? Add a walk or go outside and toss a ball with others. Some fresh air and activity are great additions.
- Quick reminder—you can stress, or you can digest, but you can't do both at once. If you are tense, nervous, or angry, those emotions will impair your digestive system. Focus on the positive... you'll be happier in the moment, and your body will be a lot happier in the long run.
- Hosting? Find a moment for yourself, some solitude, to rest, to reflect, to be with your thoughts and feelings. It's easy to lose ourselves in the midst of a busy day in the midst of a stressful year... Take care of yourself; you are important.
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