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How to Survive the Holidays.

How to Survive the Holidays.

The holidays are a time for joy, wonder, love, and cheer. They give us an opportunity to reconnect with family, laugh with friends, and can provide us with a rare respite from the humdrum of the day-to-day.

However, they can also give us those awkward moments that we wish we could forget, handle better, or avoid completely. Here, I will give you a few tips on how to survive the holidays.

Family

Loved Ones

It’s always exciting to see that family member that you haven’t seen in “forever”, the new additions to the family, and of course the elders in their twilight. It’s a truly a beautiful thing. You should be aware of everyone equally. Don’t play the priority game with the ones that you love. Be weary of favoritism – provide everyone with the warmth and affection that they deserve. Sure, you may miss a moment or two with your “bestie” but in turn gain moments of love with the people that you’d never expected to adore with all your heart. Life is short, so love everyone thusly.

Not So Loved Ones

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Everyone has a relatively torrid history. There may be a person or two in attendance that you may not be very fond of. Remember, it’s the holidays. That individual(s) has dealt with the separatism for long enough. Extend your heart to them. If they rebuke the gesture, it’s okay, but never underestimate the power of love pitted against repudiation.

Festivities

Host

It’s never easy hosting a party. The stress mounts, the bar raises, and everyone seems to be unappreciative. The trick here is to acknowledge that most of the attendants are simply happy to be invited. They’ve come because they trust in your abilities as a host -abilities that you’ve proven yourself capable of transcending. There is no need to worry or over-reach. They’re the ones whose job it is to impress you. Give it your best effort and the crowd will follow suit in their praise.

Attendee

Etiquette is the key ingredient to participating in a successful gathering. Mind your manners, dress according to code, and obey the same “unwritten rules” that you do every day. No one enjoys a show-off and everyone hates an isolate. Find your niche and use it to happily engage your fellow patrons. Use your strengths as a person to commit to the success of the event, not to its detriment. You’re an attendee – not a judge – so act accordingly. Complimenting the host is not required (though it is highly encouraged).

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Interaction

Social

If you’re a social butterfly, then you are allowed to fly free (but not without some assistance). It’s never okay to gossip, mock, or “stir the pot”. If you’re bored, find someone interesting, talk to them. Chances are that they’re bored as well. Just don’t do anything regretful. Gatherings can tend to bring out the worst in people, so this is not the time to give an expose’. Use your powers for good! Connect the room. Whether you’re loud, angry, miserable or frustrated, these people love you. Find a way to bridge that gap and love them back – with the best of you.

Non-Social

You’ll be seen as the outcast – but this is a positive. This is your chance to break out of the rut. For {insert reason here} you feel as if you don’t connect with the people that you’re “forced” to see. But you have to understand that the tables of reality are turned.  Here, they wish to see you. The holidays are a happy time. Your goal is to show them what makes you happy and what makes them smile. Your connection with them could last a lifetime.

Conversation

Talker

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“Shut Up!”

Non-Talker

“Speak Up!”

Company

Big Family

The joy is simply having the company that you never knew you had. Embrace the people that you may never see again. It’s the little things in life that count. Some people are seasons – endure the weather and find its beauty.

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No Family

Enjoy the solitude that offers you an unrelenting peace. Endure what ails you and respect the things that you’ve chosen to love. This is your time to reflect, improve, and change the world. Every day is your opportunity. Grasp it with a passion that undeniably succeeds.

Happy Holidays!

Featured photo credit: Steve via flickr.com

More by this author

Antwan Crump

Novelist, blogger, essayist, podcaster.

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

Minimalism is a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us. It’s the opposite of every advertisement we see plastered on the radio and TV. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of stuff; we eat up consumerism, material possessions, clutter, debt, distractions and noise.

What we don’t seem to have is any meaning left in our world.

By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can throw out what you don’t need in order to focus on what you do need.

I know first hand how little we actually need to survive. I was fortunate enough to live in a van for four months while traveling throughout Australia. This experience taught me valuable lessons about what really matters and how little we really need all this stuff we surround ourselves with.

Less is more.

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Living a minimalist lifestyle is reducing.There are a few obvious benefits of minimalism such as less cleaning and stress, a more organized household and more money to be found, but there are also a few deep, life-changing benefits.

What we don’t usually realize is that when we reduce, we reduce a lot more than just stuff.

Consider just some of the benefits of living with fewer possessions:

1. Create Room for What’s Important

When we purge our junk drawers and closets we create space and peace. We lose that claustrophobic feeling and we can actually breathe again. Create the room to fill up our lives with meaning instead of stuff.

2. More Freedom

The accumulation of stuff is like an anchor, it ties us down. We are always terrified of losing all our ‘stuff’. Let it go and you will experience a freedom like never before: a freedom from greed, debt, obsession and overworking.

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3. Focus on Health and Hobbies

When you spend less time at Home Depot trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the Joneses, you create an opening to do the things you love, things that you never seem to have time for.

Everyone is always saying they don’t have enough time, but how many people really stop and look at what they are spending their time doing?

You could be enjoying a day with your kids, hitting up the gym, practicing yoga, reading a good book or traveling. Whatever it is that you love you could be doing, but instead you are stuck at Sears shopping for more stuff.

4. Less Focus on Material Possessions

All the stuff we surround ourselves with is merely a distraction, we are filling a void. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. After the initial comfort is satisfied, that’s where our obsession with money should end.

We are bombarded by the media presenting promises of happiness through materialistic measures. It’s no wonder we struggle everyday. Resist those urges. It’s an empty path, it won’t make you happy.

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It’s hard not to get roped into the consumerism trap. I need constant reminders that it’s a false sense of happiness. I enjoy stuff, but I also recognize that I don’t need it.

5. More Peace of Mind

When we cling onto material possessions we create stress because we are always afraid of losing these things. By simplifying your life you can lose your attachment to these things and ultimately create a calm, peaceful mind.

The less things you have to worry about, the more peace you have, and it’s as simple as that.

6. More Happiness

When de-cluttering your life, happiness naturally comes because you gravitate towards the things that matter most. You see clearly the false promises in all the clutter, it’s like a broken shield against life’s true essence.

You will also find happiness in being more efficient, you will find concentration by having refocused your priorities, you will find joy by enjoying slowing down.

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7. Less Fear of Failure

When you look at Buddhist monks, they have no fear, and they have no fear because they don’t have anything to lose.

In whatever you wish to pursue doing you can excel, if you aren’t plagued with the fear of losing all your worldly possessions. Obviously you need to take the appropriate steps to put a roof over your head, but also know that you have little to fear except fear itself.

8. More Confidence

The entire minimalist lifestyle promotes individuality and self reliance. This will make you more confident in your pursuit of happiness.

What’s Next? Go Minimalism.

If you’re ready to start living a minimalist lifestyle, these articles can help you to kickstart:

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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