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Let’s face it, the “most wonderful time of year” is pretty frantic, stressful, and exhausting. The holiday edge is real. Set yourself up for an argument free holiday season by using these 4 reminders:

1. Wait to respond.

It’s bound to happen, someone is going to send you an email or text that is just rude. It’s uncalled for and completely out of nowhere. It’s easy to immediately react. The practice of not responding is more about you maintaining your clarity and sanity. When you step back and think about your approach it will make for a less antagonistic conversation. Even if the other person is in the wrong, it doesn’t matter. After taking some time to ensure you are not bursting with an emotional response, it will ultimately lower your anxiety level.

2. Know when to pick up the phone.

So much can be left to interpretation when there is a screen between you and the recipient. I think I can read tone, inflection, and motive. I don’t know about you but I don’t get it right all the time. If you know the level of the conversation or even that the other person tends to react emotionally, pick up the phone. It means so much to talk it out and express yourself in such a way that written text is not capable of conveying. It’s a great time of year to build rapport.

3. Lower your expectations.

No, I don’t want you to give up! But, dang! Don’t expect that the next few weeks are going to be according to some scripted plan or schedule. If you have been around in November and December, you know that SOMETHING will go wrong. You will be a happier person if you realize to accept the things that you have no control over. A schedule and a plan are very important but allow for flexibility. Be able to laugh at yourself and enjoy the random moments of change.

4. When all else fails…HIDE.

I’m serious. Sometimes you just need 15-minutes to disappear. Most people hide in the bathroom, pick a new spot. The holiday season can be intense, take a few mini-breaks to just breathe, think, pray, walk. Whatever is your thing that centers you, don’t be afraid to hide and do it.

Enter this busy time of year with a grateful attitude and most importantly, be kind to yourself. Be mindful of your own needs and your peace will positively impact those around you.