Anxiety

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Family Gathering

Written by: Jessica Ortner

StressFreeTipsThe holiday season is upon us!

It’s a time that’s often met with as much dread as joy. For many, getting a big family together doesn’t always reflect the pretty picture we see in all the Thanksgiving and Christmas commercials.

In fact, it can feel downright overwhelming!

Will my mother-in-law judge my cooking again? Will that annoying uncle make another inappropriate comment? Will I have to deal with the tension between relatives?

What’s meant to be a joyous experience leaves us holding our breath and wishing for the best…

But it turns out we have more power than we think to create a great experience.

Here are 5 tips to support you, along with a Tapping Meditation to set you up for a wonderful holiday gathering:

1. Let Go of Expectations

You know those commercials we see of the ideal family laughing and passing the pumpkin pie? They’re actors!

I hate to state the obvious, but we often have these unrealistic expectations, and the idea that things need to be perfect and run smoothly to have a good time.

So I’m here to break the news to you: that annoying uncle… he might never change. And it’s not your job to change him. That cousin who’s always late might be late again. You may drop the apple crumble you spent hours making on the floor (I did that once!).

When we let go of the expectation that things (and people) need to be perfect, we are able to see all there is to celebrate.

2. Heal the Buttons

I have one relative who I would always complain about because he had a way of pushing my buttons.

Every year he’d make some comment about my weight. Even when he said, “You look like you lost weight,” I’d smile and say, “Thank you,” when internally I was screaming, “Can you please not make my body a topic of conversation?!”

hot-turkey-buttonWhether it’s someone commenting on how you look, or asking about your relationship status or job, when you find yourself saying, “They push my buttons,” it’s time to leave the buttons at home.

Since I was struggling with my weight and body confidence, I was walking around with a giant open wound.

The moment anyone would make a comment, even a nice one, it burned and I would blame them. Eventually, I realized I couldn’t change them; I could only heal my wound.

When we take responsibility for the button and heal it, then there is no button to press.

No one can make you feel bad without your permission! If you’re expecting a topic of conversation that makes you feel uncomfortable, tap on it beforehand.

You might say, “Even though I get so angry when (insert relative) asks me / comments on (insert topic), I accept myself and choose to feel calm and confident.”

Then tap on the points while you give a voice to the movie you’ve created of what might happen, until you can imagine that scenario while feeling calm and confident. The Tapping Mediation below will help.

3. Choose What You Bring

heart-casserole-2I’m not talking about what type of casserole. When you walk in feeling tense and expecting the worst, that is exactly what you bring into the room.

Between the errands and cooking, take a few minutes to pause and check in. What matters most is the energy you bring to the table, not the dish.

Consciously choose what you’re bringing – like gratitude, playfulness, compassion, excitement, and joy. Doesn’t that sound delicious?!

4. You’re Only Responsible for Your Own Experience

You can choose what you’re bringing to the table, but you can’t control what others bring.

When we go into a family situation feeling like we are responsible for everyone having a good time, our minds begin to search for whatever we believe needs fixing. Then we only see what’s wrong, and we let someone else’s mood impact our own. Bring your best energy and forget the rest!

If you’re sensitive to other people’s emotions, it’s important to tap before the gathering. Then after you tap, imagine a protective white bubble around you. You still have the ability to give and receive love, but that bubble repels negative energy. It’s a simple visualization, but a powerful one.

OrtnerFamilyDinner.v25. Remember What It’s All About

It’s not about the perfect table setting or the food; it’s about connection and gratitude.

We come together as a family to celebrate all of life’s blessings and to connect with each other. The best way we can do this is by slowing down and allowing ourselves to be present.

We don’t need a single meditation pillow in the middle of a silent room to be present. Be present with the joy, the excitement, and if you come from a big Argentine family like me, the shouting and playful teasing!

Take in the moment because there are no guarantees in life. You’ll never get to relive this holiday season again. It’s a moment in time – celebrate the gift!


Tapping Meditation for a Stress-Free Family Gathering

Right Click to Download This Meditation


Happy Holidays!

Jessica Ortner


What was your “aha” moment during the Tapping Meditation? What do you want to remember before you walk into that room full of family members to ensure you have a great time?



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28 Comments on this post

  1. Shirley Anderson says:

    Hay Jessica!! you say you come from an Argentine family, Welcome!! I was born here of British parents. I have been into tapping for years and love your books and posts. My godson works for someone who organizes tapping teaching for a friend. Every time I walk into a room full of strangers I square my shoulders put on a huge smile and walk in as if I know everyone present. I read this suggestion many many years ago (I’m 87) and it works very well indeed! all the best Shirley

  2. Becky says:

    This is spot on for me, not just for this holiday, but for every day. My husband had a stroke, and some of his most irritating traits are magnified, including ones that push a couple of my buttons. I hadn’t known how to put it into words until now, but all 5 steps apply! Thanks for the insight and the nudge to tap on it.

  3. Anne Merkel says:

    Thank you for being consistent & helpful throughout the year! Happiest of Thanksgivings to your entire family!

  4. Amina mirza says:

    This is the first time, I sat calm, and with closed eyes and an open heart, followed the meditation. Thank you so much! It made me feel good, light, and the “aha” moment was” I love myself” really, I never thought of that. I’ve always been giving, but never thought of loving myself! Thank you.

  5. Mari says:

    Words of wisdom! You are such a treasure….just what I needed to hear and tap….I’m 65yrs young still learning…thank you teacher! Love, hugs and miracles

  6. Wendy says:

    I sincerely appreciated the tapping into peace and appreciation for what we have. I do not celebrate Xmas but have always had anxiety around this time of year starting from childhood. This helped me to focus generally on my anxiety today and left me with more peace. Thank you for your help!

  7. Hillix says:

    Thanks for all the information you always give us & help everyone always. Love to read and use your suggestion. Thanks!

  8. Niko says:

    Joy – Aw This is so sweet. I also have a little boy named Emmett. He’s as smleiy as this one too! Must be something about the sweet name! Thank you for sharing these gorgeous and bubbly photos! you have talent!

  9. Karen Greer says:

    I loved the reminder about: “not letting someone else’s mood impact yours and bringing my best energy and forgetting about the rest”.
    Thank you Jessica and have a great day yourself.

  10. Eileen says:

    Thank you so much! Loved previously hearing all the positive changes in your life and know you will be enjoying Thanksgiving with enormous gratitude this year, as will I. Thank you for contributing so much to all of our abilities to do the same with all those we love who may “push our buttons”

  11. Alanna says:

    would like to have transcript of this tapping

  12. Mary says:

    Excellent! This information is soooooo helpful. Blessings to you and your family
    Thank you very much

  13. rose says:

    Bless you and thank you so much, Jessica. I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful and grace filled Christmas. Love, Rose

  14. terry ruddle says:

    very effective tool for holiday stress!

  15. Brianne says:

    Great advice right here! Admittedly, family gatherings can be a nightmare, especially if there are underlying issues, but ultimately, family is still family. I imagine this meditation would be a great help for a lot of people over the holidays.

  16. Agata says:

    Thank you Jessica for all your love, kindness and maturity. I’m honoured to find you in the depths of internet and follow your work. Much blessings 🙂

  17. Luz Elba Lenhardt says:

    On Friday I went to listen Q&A and you Jessica interview 2 woman of witch each were put down by there mothers when growing up and both ended having weight problem . I realized after taping along with each one that I always wanted t please my mother first I weight 125 pounds until the age of 25 years and the whole family made fun of me because I was to skinny and I was always hurt then my period stop and in one year my body gained 72 pounds and went up to 175 and now they were making fun of me because I was to fat. After finishing tapping along my AHA was that I do not have to please any body BUT ME and now y an giving permission to people no matter who it is WHAT THEY THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSIESS. and I am feeling so FREE AND HAPPY. I went and forgave all of them and I was Thankful and Graitfull for everything I Receive. My age now is 77 years young.
    Love Luz Elba

  18. Elena says:

    Like always, you are so helpful, beautiful.
    I wish you, your brother and your entire family health, peace. love, and a wonderful holiday season.
    Thank you.
    Much love, E.

  19. irene, switzerland says:

    Jessica, to find out that i am only responsible for my own experience, was so helpful.
    We don`t have thankgivings but i will keep this meditation alive for christmas and other
    meetings. Thank you so much! Love, i.

  20. Elisabeth says:

    I simply love you both, Jessica and Nick! Thank you for everything and for your wisdom and kindness!

  21. Marie says:

    Jessica – so nice to have a post from you! You’ve been kind of quiet since your book launch – probably working hard with your clients. God bless your dear heart! Thank you for helping so many of us heal from what is weighing us down, literally and emotionally!

    I have realized that I have a lot to heal – many deeply embedded wounds related to my size from early on. My weight is not moving yet, I keep realizing I have more to heal. Yikes. Trying to be patient with myself – and due to some health issues I am in medical menopause, which isn’t helping either with weight or irritability! 🙁

    This is very timely, since ’tis the season… will put this to use immediately.
    God bless you and your family – Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. Joan Mariah says:

    Thank you. Lovely and helpful. I’ll definitely use it!!!

  23. Cara says:

    How grateful I am forJessica & Nick Orther! My life has been enhanced over the past year by their books, The a Tapping Solution and The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss. The audio Tapping session that they have gifted the world today is a must listen to, for releasing holiday stress, tension and dread! My anxiety level regarding all my family obligations for today and tomorrow just went from a 10 down to a 2! I’m knowing that I can relax and enjoy the ride with my beautiful family now! Yes, I’m still at a 2 anxiety wise, but I need a little bit of adrenaline to push me to get all the errands done and that’s ok, because I feel in control of that amount of stress! Feeling Thankfull for the Ortners and learning to Tap! Blessings to Alk!

  24. Sharon says:

    Thank you Jessica, for your words of wisdom and for the free meditation. Even the calming sound of your voice promotes change. Thanksgiving blessings to The Tapping Solution family!

  25. Shaz says:

    Though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in UK, family gatherings of any kind can sometimes resemble stepping in to a minefield! My family have always managed to produce stressful codes of conduct worthy of ten dark novels! Jessica reading your note and following the tapping audio shall make all the difference for me during future celebrations.

  26. Kathie Luxton says:

    My life has changed since I became involved with tapping via Nick and Jessica Ortner. I still go about my life in much the same way as before I learned about tapping, but my inner life is totally different. I’m happy and relaxed and it makes me feel that others around me are also happy and relaxed. I’ve discovered the answers to questions that have stressed me for years and I’ve moved on from those issues, without struggling. This article and tapping session about Thanksgiving from Jessica is like icing on the cake. I did not expect this kind of information to come out of the blue just at the time I needed it. Completely free information. It makes me feel that Nick and Jessica truly want me (and all of us out here) to be happy and successful. Thank you.

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