From high expectations, financial worries or even judgmental in-laws, the holidays have a special way of adding stress to relationships. “Juggling two families, finances and expectations can be stressful,” says Ana Weber, relationship expert and bestselling author of her 17th book Passion Spirit Purpose. “Oftentimes expectations are so high and that can leave you feeling drained, tired and not wanting to go anywhere.”
While planning is required to pull off the season smoothly, it’s important to troubleshoot relationship holiday hang-ups along the way. Weber shares her expert advice to 5 possible problems that can pop up during December.
Potential Problem: They are very opinionated and I feel that they are judging me, yet on the surface they seem so nice!
Solution: Remember that you cannot change the fact that they are your in-laws. If you don’t see them often, it’s important to shift your thinking to simply celebrate the holiday and appreciate that it’s your union that brought everyone together.
Potential Problem: Spending too much on gifts and then feeling bad and stressed when looking at your account after the holidays.
Solution: Suggest your family do a gift exchange not to exceed a certain amount. This makes life simpler and allows you to keep control of your finances.
Too many parties to attend/relatives to see
Potential Problem: It seems that everyone celebrates at the same time and it’s difficult to choose since some of the people inviting are truly special to me.
Solution: Organize your schedule and cut down the time spent at each party! You may have to make multiple stops in one night- just be courteous and give each host/hostess advance notice of your arrival and/or departure time. With out of town friends/family, take advantage of Skype and Facetime! Make a quick call just to say hello and send them cards ahead of time.
Separate family visits
Potential Problem: Traveling can be such a pain. There isn’t enough time and/or money to visit everyone.
Traveling and juggling life, work and family commitments during the holidays is not easy.
You must simply divide and conquer. There is always next year or another upcoming holiday. You can also choose to visit in the beginning of the year, airline tickets are cheaper and you’ll spend less time waiting around in airports. You reduce the overall expenses and everyone wins including your job and YOU.
Potential Problem: I’m worried my partner is expecting to receive that vacation/proposal/piece of jewelry/etc.
Possible Solution: It’s best to communicate well in advance to see if our expectations are logical or simply emotional. We place too much emphasis on certain days, label them because it is a social or family behavior habit and ritual, but on the other hand on the days marked with no specific titles we can PRACTICE the ‘just because’ and extend attention, love, gifts, support, a listening ear and make it special. Those moments recharge and refuel our batteries and our emotional state of mind. We feel loved and not neglected. During the holiday season, it’s very important to think of others and keep them close to our hearts; however, not just on those special days but all year around. Depression is an impact caused by many various facets that influence us and can often heighten during the holidays.
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