Desires are at an all time high and department stores don’t miss a beat feeding you full of reasons to buy this or that. The glamour of new purchases flirts with emotion, attaching a bigger-than-life fantasy that somehow buying something will magically lead to a greater state of happiness and satisfaction.
But you and I both know about the disappointment that comes after we’ve chased that thing and secured it. It can happen with relationships, climbing the professional ladder, winning championships, and making purchases.
No matter which way glamour may lure you during the holidays, emotions will begin to add up and a crisis may be under foot.
The best way to stay emotionally healthy during holiday melt-downs is to stay open about emotions. Yes––talk about feelings. We’re all going to have to get over it if sharing feelings feels too soft or too uncomfortable. Emotional intelligence is essential to wellbeing.
Handling crisis from an emotional state versus an intellectual state will shorten its duration dramatically. Here are a few steps:
Name it to Tame it
Without shame or blame, share what you feel with a trusted mentor, friend, or person trained to handle emotion (like a coach). This will reduce some energy quickly.
(If your child, colleague, or friend comes to you with difficult emotion, do everything you can to listen and not judge what they feel. Help them name it.)
Put in Conscious Distance from the Upset
After you’ve talked about your emotion, give yourself space between to discern perception and reality. Go socialize, play with the dog, do something you enjoy, watch a good movie, read a book…take conscious action to put some objective distance in.
(When it’s your child, let them be. Give time and space for their brain to regulate the emotion. Don’t over-punish, threaten, or shame them. That will work against both of you.)
Let go of Small Chunks of the Situation
Rather than try to handle the entire event or emotion that turned into crisis, break it down into parts. The greatest sages in history point toward attachment as the cause of suffering. What small parts of the “big thing” are you attached to that you can let go piece by piece?
- Can you let go of the attachment of your children feeling disappointed?
- Do you need to let go of wanting to be a extravagant give-giver?
- Can you let go of the attachment of having to have the holidays be a certain way?
- Are you attached to happiness or prestige with new purchases?
- What can you let go of?
When emotional crises occur, you will be able and willing to share in “happy holidays” again in no time.
Reflect: What about this time of year triggers emotion for you? What constitutes a “crisis”?
Rachel is a certified coach with a Masters Degree in Counseling. Leading people to greater mental, emotional, and spiritual awareness is her passion. Learn more here. Email Rachel or drop a note in the comments. Visit our INspired Leadership team website. Join our Facebook Community. Follow Rachel’s Twitter and INspired Leaderhip’s Twitter. Network on LinkedIn.