Stress around the holidays, how do you deal with it?

The holidays are approaching, but so is the stress that causes problems for many relationships. It is not without reason that the peak in the number of relationships that fail after December is large, but why is that?

There are many discussions, your agenda is packed, buying gifts, people who are against and a lot of arranging. Not only are you busy, but your relationship is also struggling. So there is a good chance that you will again end up in the same mill as last year. But how do you prevent it this year?

What is the budget, what do you have left for gifts for Sinterklaas and Christmas? Discuss this beforehand with your partner (or the rest of the family) so you both know where you stand. Make a list together and stick to it.

Where are we going
Do you celebrate Sinterklaas with your parents every year, or do you celebrate it several times? Where are you going for Christmas and how will you celebrate New Year’s Eve? If this does not cause any problems or issues, then there is nothing to worry about. But for many, it often turns out to be a mandatory excursion. The best thing you can do is divide all the days well. For example, Sinterklaas at home, Christmas with his parents and New Year’s Eve you visit your parents or you celebrate with friends. And you can rotate it every year, but make it negotiable in advance. But flying back and forth over Christmas, often with children, and your agenda packed with plans, doesn’t make anyone happy. You can also invite both parents to your home and celebrate Sinterklaas in turn with your parents. Lots of options, discuss together what feels right for both of you.

A sip too much
A drink here and a dinner there can be fun, but not everyone likes it. Drink often destroys more than you might imagine and then it’s not about the drink. The behavior that follows and the problems that this causes all the more. Make clear agreements about who will stay sober when you go, and be considerate of your partner to avoid misunderstandings.

Did you not celebrate Christmas with presents in the past, but did you celebrate Sinterklaas with rhymes and surprises? Or your in-laws love to snuggle on the couch together while you get tired just thinking about it. You’d much rather go out together and play games together the next day.

Traditions made in your youth have quite an emotional impact. Everyone is attached to how things went at home and a little less flexible when it comes to adopting other traditions. Here, too, there is great clarity, what are your wishes and needs and make a plan together, what you want to do. One year your way and the next year his way and combine both ideas or create your own tradition.

The ideal mother-in-law

If your brother-in-law is always drinking, your mother-in-law always has something to say, or your sister-in-law is always late, you can’t change that. If you already know in advance what triggers you, think of another way to deal with this in advance. Pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea and step out of the situation, take a deep breath and be yourself. Don’t be constantly on the defensive, but remain calm and composed inside.

Agree on a sign with your partner in advance if you need his help. When you know there is a plan, it is often much easier to pass the time in a relaxed way. Because everything you pay attention to is growing, focus on a nice evening or day with your family.

Attention and love
Where an expensive gift for one represents love, another is more concerned with practical things. The amount of gifts or money does not equal the amount of love, although not everyone thinks the same. To avoid disappointment and irritation, agree this in advance with each other to agree on the amount. This is also often useful in large groups, but in any case with your partner.

Too busy! Make time for each other
Everyone is always busy, your family life, your work, your social obligations, etc. And then in December comes a good portion: shopping for gifts, decorations and Christmas drinks and all the other fuss with obligations. Stress around the holidays, how do you deal with it?

The time for each other is therefore even less than before. How do you compensate for that? How do you keep your relationship alive and well during this time? Take time each day for a few minutes of attention, express your appreciation and give an extra hug. Attention and love take almost no time. What do you focus your attention on? On love or on stress? You make it much more relaxed at home when you focus on all the things that make you grateful and happy than when you only think about how busy you are. A small gesture, a thank you for all the small and big things your partner does for you, saying you love the other, an extra hug every day.

In this way, you ensure that the dark days become days when you can make beautiful memories. Unfortunately, for many people, the dark days are also a time when they are more likely to feel lonely or unwell. As you know I can make you feel better with a series of coaching sessions. If you have someone in your area who deserves to feel better, please send me my information or give me his/her details and I will contact you. As a reward, you get a well-deserved big hug from me. x

Enjoy the days together!

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