Five Tips to Enjoy the Holidays

Around this time each year, there are images that imply that the holidays are supposed to be a time for mythical groups of people to gather around a perfectly set table. Real-life gatherings are more complicated than that.In many cases, the holidays bring people together who we don’t often see during the rest of the year. Being together again can remind us of how much you love and appreciate your loved ones. The holidays can also stir up more complicated emotions. These tips can help us to enjoy the holidays.

Have realistic expectations.

Focus on having a meaningful holiday. Embrace the imperfections and unique personalities of your loved ones.

Start positive conversations.

Steer the conversation toward topics that loved ones have in common, such as a shared hobby or an upcoming happy occasion. If the holiday has spiritual or cultural significance, this is a good time to pass on some of the day’s history and meaning.

Express your appreciation.

This is also an ideal time to let others know how much you appreciate the support they’ve shown you throughout the year. Research shows that expressing gratitude can lower your own stress level.

Share fun activities.

Your loved ones could take a walk, go ice skating, play a board game, make decorations, visit a children’s museum, or catch a family-friendly show. Make a point of repeating some favorite activities year after year. These kinds of traditions are the glue that helps bond loved ones together.

Sneak in some alone time.

If you start feeling stressed, take a few minutes to walk the family dog, listen to music, read a book, or go for a run. You’ll enjoy together-time more if you step away and decompress when you need to.

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