What’s the most frustrating thing about the holiday season for you?
Most people have at least one or two things that really push their buttons.
Do the expectations around gift-giving drive you bananas? Not to mention the fact that the coordination involved can be more challenging than the last major project you managed at work!
Do you dread spending time with that really obnoxious family member? Even if you manage to keep your cool, you know that someone is going to lose it and sadly turning up the volume on the TV is your best escape plan.
Do you worry about being judged for not hosting the “perfect” Christmas dinner? Oh what fun it is to have your every move watched as you try and serve a half-decent hot meal without snapping.
Regardless of the trigger, the end results are typically the same: a not-so-merry mix of frustration, anxiety, and hurt feelings that all the eggnog in the world can’t seem to fix.
So what if this year, you decided to make it through the holidays with a little less stress and a little more serenity?
The first step towards creating more happy holiday moments is to take a step back and figure out what’s really going on when we get triggered.
Lurking beneath every trigger is fear.
And when we’re afraid, we typically go into fight, flight, or freeze-mode.
We bicker, we run away, or we shut down.
The rational part of our brain checks out and goes on a lovely beach vacation, while we wrestle with restoring a sense of safety for ourselves.
When we’re in that zone, we’re not capable of having reasonable discussions.
And the biggest mistake that we make during these moments is not hitting the “pause” button soon enough.
We continue on with the same patterns, behaviours, etc. and get the same results that we get every single year.
So how can we help ourselves hit “pause” more quickly in these moments?
One of the best ways is to become conscious of the early warning signs that tip you off to the fact that you’re headed into full blown fight, flight, or freeze-mode.
For some, their early warning sign is a tightening feeling in their chest… for others it’s a sinking feeling in their stomach.
When we catch ourselves early enough, we can then take steps to get grounded before we reengage.
And when we do reengage, we have a much better shot at bringing things back on track… instead of telling our Aunt Gertrude exactly where she can put her unfiltered judgements about the turkey stuffing.
And guess what?
I’d LOVE to help you do this!
So, as a special holiday gift, I created 2 handouts and a little video to help you make it through the holidays without sacrificing your serenity.
Handout #1 is called Practice Safe Conversations. In it, you’ll find tips to get yourself and others out of fight, flight, or freeze-mode.
Handout #2 is a list of behaviours that tend to deescalate and help resolve conflict situations and list of behaviours that tend to escalate and prolong conflict situations. (These behaviours are covered in more detail in my Coaching Program.)
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to pick one behaviour that you’ll start doing or one behaviour that you’ll stop doing so that you can make it through the holidays without sacrificing your serenity.
You know best what would help in your particular circumstances… so go with your gut.
And I’d love to hear how it goes!
Ready to get started?