​When we hear others talk about the holiday season, there is one common statement among everyone, and that is being busy! Busy with holiday parties, buying gifts, putting up Christmas decorations, and working more hours to afford the holiday buzz. So how do you slow yourself down so you can be mentally in the moment with family and friends?
Here are some practical skills you can implement when it comes to spending time with family at friends.

Put your phone down

When you are with family and having a conversation or sharing a meal together, be intentional in putting your phone away. This is a distraction for anyone and if you truly want to be present when sharing time with family, that you may only see a few times a year, this is something you can do.

When you are spending time with friends or family, try having a conversation that is related to their upcoming goals for the New Year, or asking about their best 2018 memory.

Don’t worry about the “perfect” gift, there’s no such thing.

So much stress goes into finding the best gift or thinking of what the recipient of the gift may think of you. Whether that stress is based on the cost of the gift, the color, the brand, the size, etc., at the end of the day, does it make that big of a difference?

What truly matters in that moment?
Why are you giving a gift in the first place?

Most people give gifts because it’s a sign of saying “I love you,” “I care about you,” “You are important to me,” “Our relationship matters to me.”

Regardless of the message and reason for giving a gift, is this message ever explicitly said?

Sometimes being able to share this message in writing or in person can positively impact your relationship with the other person. I challenge you to share a thoughtful note as your gift, or part of your gift, with your loved ones.

Get consistent sleep and rest

The only way to be present, is if you have had a chance to take care of yourself first. The holidays bring a time for parties, drinking alcohol, eating sugary foods, and staying up late.

Make sure you think about yourself and what your body needs in those moments to be sure you are your best. Get sleep, drink water, don’t forget to exercise, and eat veggie and fruit. Be aware of what your body is telling you.

Plan ahead yet be flexible.

Part of handling the holiday craze is to plan your schedule. If you are in a relationship and have multiple families and friend groups, be sure to plan with your partner. It can become stressful if you forget about a gathering or if schedules conflict. Have the conversation together and be prepared that sometimes holiday planning doesn’t always follow through as it was originally planned. If this happens, know that it’s okay. This is where flexibility is key.  Self-soothe if anxiety and stress rises.
I hope these quick tips are helpful for you and I hope you enjoy your holiday season.

By: Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT

I specialize in working with clients who are looking for balance in their lives and learning practical and realistic ways to manage stress and family life. Taking the time to learn how to take charge of your life is the best gift you can give yourself! Feel free to contact me for you free 20 minute consultation to see if this would be a great fit for you.

Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT (she/her/hers)

Priscilla specializes in working with couples and individuals who want to strengthen their relationship with themselves and with others. Priscilla utilizes research based techniques to help clients implement healthy coping skills and communication skills. Learn more on how you can enhance your relationship today.

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