Take time off during the holiday season to spend quality time with your friends and family
While Chinese New Year greetings could be written today as “good wishes to you,” “congratulations to you” or “greetings to you,” all three statements sound stressful to me.
With the arrival of festivals and holidays, many of us experience an odd mixture of excitement and dread as we prepare to celebrate the season.
We get excited about the red packets or gifts, shopping and reunion dinner with family, but we also fear the stress that past holidays have taught us to expect. From previous family misunderstandings and hurt feelings to scheduling conflicts, tight finances and the wear and tear on the body, holidays have a way of taking their toll on us.
I have found that the best way to lessen the stress of the holidays is to be prepared:
- Recognize stress triggers ahead of time, and plan to minimize their impact. For example: Realize that you will get several invitations to holiday parties, events or service opportunities, and limit the number of events you will commit to before the invitations come.
- Create a holiday budget together. Commit to sticking to the budget no matter how great the sales are!
- Try to resolve extended family issues before holiday gatherings, if possible. Sit down and discuss the problems rather than ignore them.
- Commit to dealing with spousal conflict after the emotion has died down: “Honey, we are both tired. Let’s not try to solve this now. Let’s talk in the morning over coffee.” Use common sense, and be disciplined enough to handle conflict in the right way.
- Schedule time for each other: Go to bed at a decent hour. Exercise or take a walk together. Protect your “together” time.
Most of all, remember what the time of year is all about: family time.
That is a great reason to slow down, be thankful and be at peace. As you prepare for your upcoming activities, we hope that you will enjoy quality time with family members during this holiday season.
This article was adapted and published with permission from Focus on the Family Malaysia. For more information, please visit: http://family.org.my/
Focus on the Family’s 90-second audio program is aired over TRAXX FM at 7.45 am Mondays to Fridays.