Resilience Tips For The Holidays

The holidays often expose us to close encounters with friends, family members and situations that can push our buttons and stress us out. Here are some suggestions for how to stay calmer and more resilient despite these potential conflicts. While common-sensical, you might find these tips useful as the holidays approach:

  • Be prepared - Take a moment to identify the specific situations and people that you know from experience will stress you out. Then, come up with one or two ways that you can think about them in a more positive way. But keep it real. If you can't come up with plausible ways to view them positively, then try to either avoid or at least minimize your contact with them.

  • Set expectations - Particularly if money is an issue, try to set realistic limits on gift giving with close friends and family members.

  • Take care of yourself - Honestly assess your resilience level going into the holidays. Eat healthy. Maintain or even increase your exercise. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Get plenty of sleep. This is all more easily said than done, but more important now than ever.

  • Stop "shoulding" yourself - We've all got ideas about things ought to be in our lives. Some of us develop deep-seated rules about how we should behave, about how we should treat and be treated by others, etc. These Iceberg Beliefs lie beneath our conscious awareness and can bang us around emotionally when we run into them. Spending too much time beating your head against the way things are vs. how they should be is a recipe for needless frustration and stress. So, if you notice more than a couple of "shoulds" in your inner or outer dialogue, stop and take a couple of slow, deep breaths. Create and practice a simple mantra like, "I choose not to let this {situation / person / thing} rob me of my grace and resilience." You'll be surprised how much better you feel.
  • Stay connected - Our research shows that how connected we are - to our jobs, our families, our communities, and our faith - has a direct impact on our resilience. The holidays are the perfect time to reach out to friends and family. But even if you are alone, a great way to stay connected is to volunteer. Doing something for someone else is a sure way to connect to something bigger than our yourself. And this is a proven way to boost your resilience and your life satisfaction!

  • Be grateful - Regardless of your circumstances, gratitude is one of the most effective ways to boost resilience. The evidence is overwhelming. Taking a few minutes every day to express thanks to others, to the world, and even to yourself, is a proven way to reduce stress and boost resilience. Finding just three things to be grateful for every day is a great place to start. Writing it down works best. Give it a try.

Thank you so much for your interest in our work. We wish you a happy, healthy, and resilient holiday season!

Leave A Comment