5 ways to love the ones you’re with over the holidays  

Well there’s a rose in the fisted glove

And the eagle flies with the dove

And if you can’t be with the one you love honey

Love the one you’re with…

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Chunnukah, Festivus or the new Christmakah you are probably spending a good chunk of time over the holidays with people. Some people whose company you might really like, and others who make you feel like you would rather be watching reruns of Full House. Here are 5 easy tips to keep you engaged and sane while your introverted self copes with the copious amount of schmoozing.

1. Self-Care 101

If you look at your calendar and you have 15 engagements scheduled between now and the new year it might be a good time to work in that ME time. Take a few minutes to determine how you are going to keep up your regular self-care routine like exercise or watching the latest episode of your favorite show. If you don’t do the things you love, that recharge your batteries, you will quickly grow resentful of all of the socializing and it won’t be fun. Even if it means waking up extra early to get a run in on Christmas morning before you head to Aunt Elenore’s house for 8 hours of eating and drinking (yes exercising on Christmas is OK). Consider it survival.

2. Avoid Small Talk Burn-Out

If you are someone who never turns down a good party, you might consider turning down being your bestie’s date for her office soiree.  Even if you think it will be fun, you may find that the endless amount of small talk is exhausting. So exhausting that the thought of going to your moms on Christmas eve the following night may be suddenly unappealing. Like the saying goes, too much of a good thing can turn into something heavy and burdensome. Try to balance the events that you are looking forward to with those that are second tier.

3. Evade the Awkward

Ever noticed at your office holiday party or your friend’s New Year’s Eve bash that there is one person who perhaps drinks too much and becomes belligerent? That may say wildly inappropriate things or profess their unwavering attraction to you in that moment? Or maybe you have that great uncle who loves to get into the debate on assisted suicide for the terminally ill as you sip your egg nog and Nat King Cole bellows Christmas tunes? Two words my friend: STAY AWAY. That’s right, don’t take the bate. Steer clear of awkward conversations, or people who want to argue. Even if your blood starts to boil and you feel an emotional response wash over you, walk away or ignore. It is not worth trying to set the record straight or school someone on why Hillary got a raw deal or the fact that they are making a fool of themselves. It’s supposed to be a joyous time and some people can suck the energy right out of the room. Mingle smartly and stick to those who know their limits with alcohol.

4. Bring a Wing-Man or Wing-Woman

Don’t underestimate the power of your most charismatic friend’s charms. She might be the perfect companion to the dinner party you are going to attend on the weekend. If your host permits, bringing a friend or relative to your gathering can ease the burden of you to telling your monotonous real-estate story for the twentieth time. People who have a great sense of humour and can work a crowd are great and so is that friend who makes the amazing latkes. The focus will be off you before you know it, and you can listen for a change instead of being the witty conversationalist.

5. The Airing of Grievances or Forgiveness

The holidays are a really great time to start fresh and let go of that resentment you have been carrying around for a long time. It is easy to get caught up in anger and hurt and carry it into a really heated dinner encounter that leaves you feeling worse than the anxiety that plagued you before you saw the person.

First try asking yourself if you are able to let whatever is eating at you go. This requires some work and the process can take time. Lots of time. If you have tried that, and you feel as though you have given it some energy, it might be time to have a chat. Confrontation doesn’t have to be hostile (or even emotional) if you are able to be honest about why you are hurt. Try to keep the focus on your feelings and really listen to the other person when they are telling you their side. You may be surprised how much growth can come from being open and honest. Your relationship will be stronger for it and it will make your holidays much more meaningful and pleasant.

Happy Holidays Everyone! XO

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