As the 4th of July weekend approaches, many people will be facing the F-word: Family.
Family get-togethers and reunions can be a time of joy for some and overwhelming dread for others.
The amazing Marina Khidekel wrote a wonderful article in July 5th edition of Woman’s World (on stands now) providing terrific steps to having a great family reunion. Check it out (on page 23). I had the pleasure of being included in her “Ask America’s Ultimate Experts” article.
In this post, I wanted to provide you with 5 additional tips on how to have a positive experience when getting together with family:
- Determine your goal: Just because you are together again does not mean you have to re-hash old arguments. Make a conscious decision to have fun and enjoy your time together, rather than settle arguments that started 20 years ago.
- Develop a mantra: To help you stay focused on your goal, develop a mantra or a certain phrase that you repeat and will help you focus on enjoying yourself. For example “Everyone in my family has their good points, too. I chose to focus on them.” Research shows focusing on the positives helps you have a more positive outlook.
- Get moving- exercise not running away: Research shows exercise is a great way to reduce stress and release some feel-good endorphins. Go for a walk, swim in the pool or put on some tunes and start dancing.
- Take “The Happiness Challenge”: research shows that focusing on the positive (rather than concentrating on what is not going well) is a great way to be happier. In my book A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, I talk about The Happiness Challenge where you challenge yourself to find at least 3 positive things about whatever (or whoever) is causing you stress.
Look for the good in people (“She had a hard life and I know deep down she does care about me”) and situations (“How grateful I am to have so many family members” or “I am so grateful the sun is shining”)
- Have an “out” during the reunion: have a list of ways to reduce your stress during the event. Ideas could include deep breathing, going for a walk, offering to do the dishes so you can’t hear your uncle continue to complain…
So enjoy the fireworks in the sky without any explosions among family members.
And please share some of your additional ideas on how to have A Happy You during a happy family reunion.