- Tracy Duell-Cazes
Dealing with Holiday Stress
Updated: Nov 22, 2021
We are only a few days from the holidays and the end of the holiday season. For a lot of people, this is an extremely stressful time of the year. From Thanksgiving straight through to New Year, it seems that there is always something planned. More people to see, places to go. There are holiday parties for work and school and family and friends. There is hardly any time to breathe, never mind to do any holiday planning of your own or holiday shopping for the gifts.
It is a non-stop train ride that is all meant to be fun, but the truth is that it can be extremely stressful and loaded with anxiety. The biggest stress of the holiday season is the costs related to everything. It is a very expensive time of the year.
When you take the stress of the season and the stress and anxiety of money, it can turn into a very volatile combination.
The months immediately following the holidays are notorious for being the time of the year where more divorces are started than in any other part of the year. On the popular law-related website, FindLaw searches for divorce climb by 50% in January, February, and March.
Why is it that divorce spikes right after the holidays? As we had said, the holidays are a very stressful time and a very expensive time, as well. There are things you can do to work through the stress and anxiety with your partner or spouse and avert those emotional fights that tend to lead to divorce.
Set a budget
Since the thing most often fought about is money, it is important to get in front of the issue before it can turn into a fight. Make a list of all of the events and gifts that you have to pay for or buy and set a budget for the season. Make it a number that you can both agree to that will not put you into debt. Even if you set your budget, if it is too high, it could lead to fights down the road when the bills become due.
Communicate with each other
When people are under a lot of stress, they tend to become withdrawn. If you keep to yourself, you are not properly communicating with your spouse. Communication is always the most important thing to keep a relationship healthy. Do not assume your spouse knows what you are thinking or what you expect. If you do not communicate your thoughts and feelings, there will be misunderstandings which will lead to fighting.
Take some time for yourself
Everyone needs some time to unwind and relax. It is very difficult to do when there are guests and kids and parties and cooking and all of the other things you need to get done. Even when you are not doing anything, you are thinking about the next 10 things you need to do. It is important to take the time for yourself. If you do not know how to manage it, plan it and put it on your schedule.
Things are not always going to be perfect and things are not going to always go as planned. There will always be last-minute changes or unseen complications. These things happen. Expect things to not go completely as planned.
Set aside differences
With all of the stresses of getting through the holidays, when you get together with family, there are going to be those few family members that you do not see eye to eye on things. Let these differences go to avoid a fight. With the recent election, there have been countless examples of friends and family fighting over the outcome. Don’t bring it up. Keep your differences at the door.
Acknowledge your feelings.
Even if you set and keep a budget and take time for yourself and everything else, there may be times that you are feeling emotional and even overwhelmed. These are perfectly normal feelings to have. Don’t ignore your feelings, but rather accept them. If you acknowledge your feelings then you have the power to avoid the conflicts usually related to these highly emotional times.
You have to know you are never alone. If you are feeling stressed, reach out to someone, whether it is your spouse or a friend or a close family member. It may not be enough to acknowledge your feelings, you may need to talk them out. Sometimes talking to a friend isn’t enough, but rather you should reach out to a therapist to deal with your stress and anxiety.
Most cases of divorce are started after an emotional event. Once proceedings are started based on an emotional event, the process stays emotional throughout the whole process causing you to continue to act emotionally. If you follow the items listed here, you could avert some of the more emotional discussions and learn to deal with the stress and anxiety that often leads to rash decisions.