Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dealing With In-Laws During The Holidays

Does the thought of spending time with your in-laws during the holidays make you anxious or over the top stressed out? Not all in-laws are "outlaws" but for some people, it may seem like it.

Just relax, this time doesn’t have to be stressful and it can actually be quite pleasant if you follow these simple steps.

Steps To Survive Your In-Laws During The Holidays

  • Adjust Your Attitude
Instead of thinking about how horrid the time spent with your in-laws will be, focus instead on the positive. Remember that the holidays are a time to spend with family and loved ones. Think about how happy spending time with your in-laws makes your spouse. If you just zone in on this one principle, making your spouse happy, you will find that dealing with your in-laws is a lot more tolerable.

  • Communicate Your Concerns With Your Spouse
If you know that every time your in-laws are around it makes your skin crawl, then discuss this openly with your spouse. Share your concerns so that the two of you can work through them together. Illicit help from your spouse in dealing with your in-laws.  Your spouse can act as a mediator or your defender, depending on the situation. But your spouse won’t be able to do either if unaware of your feelings and concerns.   

  • Be Assertive
If at any point you feel like your in-laws are being disrespectful or rude it is perfectly acceptable to be assertive in your response without being combative. You can simply state to your in-laws that you will not accept any mistreatment from them. If they continue with their disrespectful behavior, try to put some distance between you, by not being in the same room with them. Instead be with other family members in different areas of the house or stay by your spouse’s side so that your spouse can witness the bad behavior first hand and deal with it.  

The key to surviving the holidays with your in-laws is to remember that the time spent with them will be short. They are an extension of your spouse and so to make your spouse happy you can endure them during the holidays. Once they are gone life will resume as normal. There is no need to let them stress you out or ruin your holiday good cheer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How To Cope With Holiday Stress

Your house is decorated superbly. You have incorporated tips from Pinterest and HGTV to make your house a Christmas masterpiece. Your family will be descending on your home any day now. You’ve purchased everything you need for your guests’ arrival.

The day for which you have been planning is finally here. The doorbell rings, you peek through your peephole to see the familiar faces of family. But right before you open the door, your breathing becomes shallow, you suddenly feel light headed, and your palms are sweaty. You didn’t realize, until this very moment, how stressed your holiday preparations have made you.

Do you find yourself under undue stress during the holidays? How have you managed to cope with your stress in the past? Were your coping techniques successful or do you find that once again you are feeling the pains of holiday stress?

Stress brought on by the holidays is common but it can be managed with a few simple techniques.

Techniques To Manage Holiday Stress

  • Be Realistic
If you are the host for holiday events prepare for something to go wrong. Just
     because something isn’t “perfect” doesn’t mean it’s bad. Chances are your guest will not realize
      that something is amiss unless you bring it to their attention.

  • Plan Ahead
           Schedule your time wisely so that you don’t overbook yourself. Plan your menus in
           advance so that you don’t overcook yourself. Set a budget so that you don’t overextend
           your finances. Having a plan in place will help to keep you grounded and from feeling
           like you are spinning out of control.

  • Learn To Say No
           There is only just one you and you can’t be everything to everybody and everywhere all at
           once. It is perfectly okay to tell people no. There is nothing wrong with setting
           boundaries and sticking to them. In fact, sticking to your boundaries makes you feel
           empowered and balanced which keeps your stress levels to a minimum.

  • Get Away
           Sometimes the hustle and bustle of the holiday can drain you emotionally and             physically.  Make sure to take some time away from the planning, partying, shopping, and
           the urge to feel like you must be happy at all times. Take a bubble bath, read a good book,
           take a walk, just do something that will take you away from the constant reverie of the
           holiday. This allows you to relax and regroup.
*Info in this blog is strictly my personal and/or professional opinion. Posts and comments are not intended to treat, diagnose or replace any medical advice you may have received. Please contact your doctor or therapist if you feel you need help, and in case of an emergency, dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.*