Do you ever arrive at a family event feeling like you’ve walked into a lift? You pray you’ll be able to get out soon and in the meantime, you’re just waiting for everyone to start pressing buttons. In reality, few of us have gettogethers like the idealised ones we see in adverts. Often, the combination of a shared history, alcohol and a sugar rush can bring up all sorts of suppressed emotions inhibitions to the point where you feel trapped in a soap opera that you know won’t end well. If this sounds familiar, the following coping strategies might help you maintain your happiness levels while sitting at the Christmas dinner table.
STAY HYDRATED Drink plenty of water before your gatherings to flush out any toxins in your body and to perk up your energy levels. When you arrive, have one glass of water for every dehydrating beverage (alcohol, tea, coffee or fizzy drink) that you consume. Not only will you stay on an even keel emotionally, but the next morning you’ll wake up smiling, instead of impersonating the Grinch.
WALK IT OFF Try going for regular walks, preferably somewhere with trees and water. It doesn’t matter if it’s overcast, you’ll still be receiving negative ions from the water, which will help to perk you up. Walking in nature also aids relaxation and 42 SOUL&SPIRIT can give you a calmer perspective. After dinner, why not suggest a walk? Offering to take your host’s dog out can be a good excuse to get some air.
GET SOME EXTRA ZZZS If late nights are unavoidable during this time, try taking a nap before you set off. As little as 20 minutes can leave you feeling rested and revived, as does a full sleep cycle of 90 minutes. Anything in between can leave you feeling groggy, so set your alarm if you need to.
AND BREATHE… Try meditating to quieten mental chatter and to connect with your higher self. Oils or incense such as lavender and sandalwood can also be used to create a calmer state of mind. You can even ask the Universe for last-minute guidance, if you wish. OPEN YOUR HEART It’s said that our soul chooses our families for a reason, and there may be members in need of your love and compassion, especially if they’re being awkward people tend to attract conflict when they’re struggling with themselves. Visualise opening the door at your relatives’ house. Put your hand on your heart and ask in your mind’s eye: ‹“what would you have me know?’ This will help you connect with your family with love and tolerance.