by Ultimate Spark! Relaxation & Play Coach Shawn Hetz
It’s that time of year again when we all get together with our families to celebrate the holidays.
For many people it does not feel like a celebration at all. There are a good number of people who can’t stand to go home with their families because when they are around the family it ends up being more like the Jerry Springer show than a nice Hallmark Christmas movie.
This causes people to feel anxious about going home for the holidays. The anxiety can come from many different issues whether it’s political views, religious views, diet choices, career choices, and health.
What can we do to change the dynamic at the dinner table?
When it comes to religious and political views skip the conversation about them. It is hard to change anyone’s mind about what they believe but religious and political views are definitely the hardest. So if somebody needs to pray before meal let them pray.
However if somebody doesn’t pray or prays to a different God let it go. Whatever make somebody happy let them be happy. Don’t discuss politics this holiday season. It is definitely important to know what is going on in the world. But it is just as important to take a break and enjoy life.
Now the hardest issue bringing home a partner to your parents that they do approve of. There are couple things that you can do to alleviate this issue. The biggest mistake is waiting to the holidays to introduce your partner. Instead Introduce them over video chat first. If it doesn’t go well make alternate plans for the holidays.
Or maybe you get lucky and your family will keep their opinions to themselves while you are visiting. If you do go visit and things go wrong have an exit strategy. There is no reason to allow anyone to make you miserable.
Speaking of making people miserable let’s talk for a minute about diet choices. Today there are all kinds of crazy diets some people avoid gluten, some people carbs, some people are vegetarian or vegan. There is probably about 100 diet choices that I didn’t mention here but I can’t keep track of them all.
The best thing to do here is turn Thanksgiving into a potluck. Let everybody bring a dish that satisfies their diet. This does 2 things it prevents one person or family having to do all the cooking. It also allows everyone to sample different foods. Personally I can’t stand stuffing and everybody I come across says they have their own special recipe and I should try it. Most the time I do and then I tell them I don’t like it. Swallowing one by the stuffing every year won’t kill me. But please don’t lecture people on how your diets better. It gets old and annoying.
Speaking of old and annoying anyone else get bothered about their health every time they see their family? My mother worries constantly about my health. A lot of the time when I see her she will mention my weight and also try to steer me towards food choices that are healthy for diabetics. I understand her intentions are good. However during the holidays, I want to enjoy a glass of eggnog and some dessert like everybody else.
I think the most important thing here is to understand that nagging someone about their health is not going to help them improve their health. In fact it will probably drive them towards comfort food.
Before you visit your family it’s a good idea to remind yourself what you like about your family. Going in with a positive attitude rather than a negative attitude can set you up for a better experience. Also lower your expectations expecting everybody to be perfect just because it’s the holidays and it’s a notion but I feel a lot of us do it. Accept people for who they are and you will be happier around them. Whatever your plans are for the holidays focus on making the memorable.
Shawn Hetz was born with Cerebral Palsy which presented many challenges in my life. However, my success has been greater. He coaches individuals who want more out of life but aren’t sure how to get there. He is a straight forward but humorous individual who believes that putting yourself first and creating a work/life balance is essential to a fulfilling life.
He specialize in relaxation and play, Life purpose, and relationships.
Book a call with him on our site!