I love Christmas time. I’m an Aussie so it means I’m at the beach everyday, summer fruits are a staple in the fridge, and it mean University is done and dusted until March. But there is one thing that can send me into a bit of a panic – the knowledge that I will be spending two-weeks straight with my family, often with no means of escape.
I love my family to death, but sometimes you just need the space to relax and the holidays are often the worst time to embark on the quest of space. So what can you do to stop yourself going bonkers during this season? I have five tips which help me get through the holiday period and still love my family at the end.
Set Reasonable Expectation
Christmas may be the time that families spend quality time together, but set reasonable expectation for the holidays. If you know that your family dislikes your partner, or vice versa, don’t expect the family to suddenly greet them/you with open arms – instead, just try your hardest to be relaxed and remember that after the holidays there are twelve-months until you have to see them again.
Anything that comes at you think of it as water off of a ducks back – smile, be honest, and practice meditation when someone frustrates you.
Cater your Activities to Multiple Tastes
When travelling with my family I have two problems;
- My Dad is always right (even when he’s wrong)
- My Dad is the boss, that means if he doesn’t like it/want to do it, we probably won’t do it.
Bring a Decoy
Last year an unexpected circumstance occurred and my best friend joined me in New York for two-weeks. What I didn’t realise was that he is the perfect decoy to distract my family, whether it be a decoy to escape my family for a few hours to explore something he and I wanted to see, the chance to slip off and enjoy a non-steak & three veg dinner, or decoy from those horrible talks family always want to bring up when you’re alone – it could be about work, study, when are you finally going to get married. Best of all, you can apply this almost anyone though I recommend your partner or best friend!
There is a trickier side with the decoy though – you have to be able to equally balance time spent between family and decoy carefully as to not offend one or the other, otherwise you might not be able to try this tactic a second year in the row.
Get a Private Room
Within the family home your family will want to think of you as their little child still, so don’t expect all family members to be open about relations in the house. Even if you aren’t with a partner then by either arranging to stay at a hotel or in your own room means when things get tought you will have somewhere to relax and get away from the stress and crazy.
Don’t hole yourself up though, because that can cause more problems than it solves!
“You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” – at the end of it all you are only spending a few days of the year with your family. Any time you feel negative vibes try to think of a positive thought – my favourite is thinking about one positive trait that the person has – or learn to meditate before you head on holiday.
Remember that it’s only one-day or week of a year – you can do it.
Do you have any tips for dealing with family over the holidays?
Post Image: Picaza