Many of us may have an idealized version of how family time might be: people getting along famously, lively conversation over dinner, laughter, bonding, and games. For some, that might be a reality. For others, that portrait can feel like an unattainable model that spurs anxiety, frustration, or sadness, particularly during the holidays.
Often, our own expectations add pressure to family occasions. We come together as the individuals we’ve grown to be rather than the people we once were. Throw travel, inclement weather, and extended and blended families into the mix, and it’s easy to see how expectations can complicate the realities.
Holiday rituals and traditions often bring pre-established roles and historic dynamics into sharp focus, whether we embrace or resist them and regardless if the reunion feels magical or strained. Our chances of harmony can improve if we accept the ways in which each of us change and if we practice a more compassionate, kind mindset. That’s where meditation comes in.
Family Time: the Headspace way
We’ve hand-picked a special collection of guided meditations to help you develop and maintain an equilibrium during the upcoming season of holiday stress, regardless of who you will be spending time with or the nature of the relationships. We’ve got you, and we’re here to provide an extra layer of support.
Healthy communication is not always straightforward in a family dynamic—the atmosphere can be sometimes be awkward, loaded, prickly, or downright heated—but we don’t have to contribute to all the reactivity; we can learn to step back and respond in a considered way.
We cannot control what others think or say, but we can choose how we respond. Relationships — be they partners, families, or friends — occupy a lot of our thinking time, so these exercises are designed to encourage understanding, kindness, and unconditional love.
Sometimes we need to peel away from a gathering and create our own space. These exercises are designed for you to step away, reset, refresh, and return to people, feeling calmer, with increased clarity.
Finding the right activities and time for children can present another set of challenges and responsibilities. Here are some exercises to help you (and them).
We understand that family time can be both precious and challenging at once. While we may not have much choice in who we are seated next to at a holiday meal, we can choose how we relate to them. A shift in perspective can guide how we approach, handle, and ideally enjoy our time with loved ones.