A Christmas without crisis, conflicts, arguments, annoyance and frustrations are a dream scenario for most people but the reality is often different and as I have mentioned before a lot of people feel that Christmas is a tough holiday to go through.
Furthermore most people experience from time to time that Christmas Eve and/or the Christmas holiday are something that they have been looking forward to but find themselves with thoughts such as “Thank God, let me get back to work again”.
And that is a shame!
I have the past 10 years met many couples in my practice that over and over again dreaded Christmas (in some cases the worries started in the summer holiday) and despite the fact that both of them actually had the same wish for Christmas – a quiet Christmas with peace, presence, love and great experiences together.
That is why I have collected three of my best advices so you can conquer the last busy days up until Christmas and the holidays without ripping each other’s heads off or running away from the duck and the roast and hide in the bathroom just to obtain “f*cking 10 minutes of peace and quietness in one’s head!”.
It is 3 things that you can easily use if you practice and implement them (or else they won’t work – funny enough).
And remember if you have “time” to frustrations/arguments/hours of annoyance – then you can also find the time to implement these 3 things.
1) Structure, structure, structure
As my old teacher inside the field of cognitive psychology Henrik Tingleff told me over and over again structure is alpha omega.
And during Christmas time there are extra points – and often a lot – on the To-Do list.
This is why you should talk about and writing all the points down and figure out who do what, when and how so you obtain this structure and overview over all the points and to set up a plan where you co-operate and manage the points the best suitable way.
You let go of both thinking and using energy on the same ‘points’ and of the thought ‘have the other one remembered to..’ and along with the delegation of points and the fact that you co-operate about when and how the things should be done you will experience that there will be released more energy.
So make sure that there is structure and an overview then everything will become easier, less chaotic, you will obtain fewer irritations and “things you haven’t thought about that needed to be fixed” that once again creates increased stress hormone in the body and with an even shorter fuse that ends out like…. (Finish it yourself)
Structure and overview on a piece of paper ROCK!
2) Oblige and make your partner happy
If you in any way can sneak in deeds that signals “Hey honey – I have done this because I know that it will make you happy” during Christmas there will be points in the Love bank.
And no, you shouldn’t just do it to get something in return. You should do it because it makes your partner happy and make your joint ‘us’ a nicer place to be.
What can you do specifically?
At my house it would be something like an offer to sleep late in the morning + one hour in bed with a cup of coffee and a book or the IPad.
Or perhaps an evening ‘away’ from the family in a busy week where we didn’t think of it ourselves.
Or being asked: “What do you need – is there anything you are in shortage of?” and subsequently try to oblige it the best way possible.
Or to be invited earlier into bed just to talk, cuddle, reading and quicker falling asleep than usual (Yes, we are still in sleep deprivation, little ones at night and A-persons in the house – we cannot run from that)
3) Make plans for the “fill me up”-time
This thing can be really difficult to carry out but it can be done and it is often quite effective. When we have “I will just place my battery in the charger”-time in a period where you are busy or just find it difficult to sort everything out the “ego-time” can be a miracle.
It is not all people that need time alone but there can be other activities where you can fill op your energy and that will benefit everyone in the family afterwards because you have more energy.
So what can you do to schedule these ‘fill me up’-times?
What gives you energy?
It is different from person to person. In this house Mads goes to the workshop/garage for a couple of hours and I love long baths and spending long time in the bathroom without interruptions or “MOOOOOM” – or to cuddle up on the couch with duvet and pajamas and a great book or film.
Once again you have to remember that the more energy you have the easier it becomes to handle situations that might be over the top.
And by the way you CAN actually “get enough of the family” if you’re not used to seeing each other 14 days in a row – it is COMPLETELY normal – and it is just like that moment where you have had too much cake even though it tastes good. You just need a little break and then you’re ready for another piece of cake.
And that is fine.
But be careful – it returns the favor for you and family
1) Structure and an overview
2) Oblige and make your partner happy
3) “Fill me up”-time
These 3 advices give you energy, strength and more love – and that it the fundamental thing for a nice and peaceful Christmas.