Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year. Plenty of time to unwind and spend relaxed quality time with your jolly extended family.... If only! More often than not we can find ourselves exhausted and stressed, between running around for last minute gifts and trying not to lash out at truly obnoxious in-laws, cousins, etc.
The good news is that the methods that help us in our everyday work can help us get the most zen and jolliness from this holiday season.
The magic of active listening - even on Christmas
The importance of active listening in a meeting context is widely discussed among leaders, influencers and the best team players. Listening intently and showing interest, as well as contributing with thoughtful questions, is enough to make one a stellar communicator. Uncle Johnny’s endless small talk may be mind-numbing for your brain, but just challenge yourself to put your listening hat on and pick out the most exciting elements. You’ll find that this kind of active listening brings new relevance and depth to any conversation.
Christmas carols and agenda points
What’s more loveable than Christmas carols and poems? You guessed it right - Christmas agenda points! This might feel overly reminiscent of your work life—why on earth would you want to set an agenda for your free time—but we can assure you that getting all the Christmas “to-do’s” out of your head and onto paper is immensely satisfying. It might even be the single most useful method for decreasing stress and anxiety during the holidays. Introduce your loved ones to RunYourMeeting and assign agenda points for all the baking, shopping and wrapping. Need something analogue? Take an empty wall and use a bunch of post-it notes. Phew. We feel better just thinking about it.
Silent night, breathing right
As with co-workers, in most cases, you can’t choose your family. And despite how hard might you try, you can’t change them either. The only person you have complete control over is yourself. So if you find yourself getting tense, take a moment to relax again. Three slow breaths in a row do wonders. Or go for a walk in the snow. Be mindful that the emotion you’re feeling is the emotion you’ll spread to the people around you. So take care of yourself first, and make sure all is jolly within. Then you’ll find you have endless patience for relatives (and co-workers) you thought you couldn’t stand.
You’re welcome and Merry Christmas from the Stratsys team ;)