These last two years have been challenging for many, no matter what your beliefs are about the state of the world. I have been noticing more recently that people have been struggling to maintain their connections with co-workers, friends, family, with people in general. With the holidays very near, I want share information on how to encourage connection and closeness in your relationships with others so that you may get the connection you’re looking for over the holidays.
- Go into your holiday conversation with connection in mind. The holidays are time of sharing uninterrupted time with loved ones, connecting conversation, good food, and other holiday traditions. Only use your electronics to connect with others. Keep the political talk feeling productive, or don’t use this time to talk about it at all. It’s ok to “set down” topics that are emotionally charged until you are ready to pick them back up again. Your physical and emotional wellness comes first.
- Stick with what holiday values you find most important. With increasing responsibilities, expectations, and anxieties, we often lose track of what we found most important about the holidays in past years. Complete the tasks you think you need to celebrate, but don’t make the holidays about completing your to-do list. You can absolutely celebrate without your list being 100% done.
- Re-engage in past traditions or explore starting a new tradition. Sometimes we fall out of habit with our traditions for various reasons, but it is never too late to re-engage or start a tradition. Try writing a New Year’s resolution letter to yourself annually. Try building an Igloo (Pending snow of course.) Make it a tradition to bake cookies or create a new craft together. Try out a new board game each holiday. The possibilities are endless, all you need to do is explore your own interests or the interests of those around you.
- Complete the holiday tasks that fulfill you. Overdoing your workload or holiday management leaves you open to the risk of resentment and disappointment. Focus on what you are truly willing to share with others, without a detrimental cost to yourself and your energy.
- The best gift you can give others is YOU. Your attention, your affection, your connection, is literally why anyone enjoys getting a thoughtful gift from you in the first place.