If you get anxious about time with family and friends during the holidays, this information will help. It’s common to have some reservations. Here are tools to get you past your fears and into the fun.
“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” –C.S. Lewis
Tool #1 : Lower Your Expectations
Perfectionism is the enemy. Unrealistic expectation is the root of most stress. Learn to accept people where they’re at and outcomes that are less than ideal. Who cares if you burn something or someone is running late. At the end of a family event, be happy if it was a 7, on a scale of 1 – 10.
Tool #2: Use Ice Breakers
Intentionally get conversations started. A common ice breaker on Thanksgiving is to have everyone share something they’re thankful for over the past year. Here’s 10 Fun Ice Breakers for more ideas.
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Tool #3: Be Curious
Learn about others. Ask questions they’ll enjoy discussing (e.g. kids, job, sports, hobbies, etc.) and listen. Don’t talk about yourself unless asked. Prepare great questions in advance. Here are some of my favorite questions to ask when coaching clients.
Tool #4: Do Something New
Take a risk by trying something new. Make a new pie or try a new recipe. Play a new game. Invite guests over for the meal. Do this especially if it makes you uncomfortable. I hear more regrets from people about things they DIDN’T do in life than what they DID do and failed at (and if you learned something it wasn’t failure anyway).
Tool #5: Don’t Take Things Personally
Just let others be negative. Their negativity is because they’re hurting and protecting themselves from getting hurt again. It’s not personal. Focus on their positive qualities and choose to be positive regardless.
Holidays are opportunities to not only rest, but for personal growth. Make the most of them and don’t take these special times with people you love for granted.
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