Not all of us engage in holiday pleasantries and festivities with our families, but those of us who do could possibly benefit from conflict resolution skills, boundaries and a mouthful of buckeyes to prevent us from saying anything offensive.
1999 was a rough year for my family. A poinsettia was thrown out the front door and I'm fairly certain no one ever discussed the catalyst for such forceful destruction of a plant. The irony is in the poisonous composition of a poinsettia, as conflict can lead to poisonous pride and resentment buried in the hollows of our souls. Not to be dramatic or anything...
Or maybe you have that uncle who ruins everything with his whiskey breath and reckless disregard for the "no shoe policy". Or maybe you have a family member who passed away around the holidays and there is a void that feels irreplaceable. Whatever it may be, remember:
1. Be kind to yourself. Don't "should" all over yourself. For instance, you may be thinking to yourself "I should wear sequins, it's Christmas", or "I should fake an illness". Instead, Wear your soft, flowy clothing or jeans or say you would rather stay home.
2. Put the current crisis in perspective (is your dirty carpet going to ruin your life?) Often times the close proximity of family members may feel like spontaneous combustion would be a welcome event, but the truth is: we always have a choice and usually, we choose tradition over comfort. What's a few days?
3. Don't judge your feelings, but do notice them and use mindfulness to navigate action. Nostalgia and bereavement around the holidays are common but no two experiences are alike.
4. If you are in recovery, wrap yourself in support. Go to more meetings or schedule extra time with your support group/sponsor(s), attend more services at church, or engage in a heavier flow of meditation or physical activity. Whichever avenue you have taken to get sober: drive carefully down that avenue.