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Ditch the Holiday Stress, Family Drama, and Conflict

Nov 21, 2020

Are you someone who experiences stress or anxiety around the holidays because of family conflict or drama? I hear from so many who want to enjoy the holidays but don’t because of pressure, drama, and longstanding conflict that arises.


If you can relate, continue reading and consider changing this for good. First of all, this is a year where many people will not be able to experience the holidays as they normally do. While this is unfortunate, consider if it could also be an opportunity for you to change any negative dynamics. Really think this through. Are there people you don’t enjoy seeing who you can avoid seeing this year? Do you usually have to drive around to many houses so that you make sure you meet everyone’s expectations that you see everyone, while experiencing stress and pressure the entire time? Do you usually host large meals, trying to make everything perfect for everyone? Take a step back and consider if you want to do something different this year.


6 tips for ditching the holiday drama:

  • Decide who you want to see the most and whether it is safe to see them. Don’t put yourself at risk by being around too many people or people who have not been following safety precautions.


  • Consider what is realistic for travel that will allow you time to enjoy yourself. If you are expected to go to more than one place, consider if this is realistic and if it will allow you time to enjoy yourself. If not, cut back. Explain that you are limiting your travel / driving and exposure this year and perhaps offer to see some of the people at a different time or via a Zoom call.


  • If you are hosting, consider how you can simplify things. Ask for help. Ask others to contribute. Cut back on one or two things so save you time and energy.


  • If there is conflict between people you are spending time with, you have some choices. If they are coming to your home, set expectations ahead of time. For example, if there is conflict around politics, be clear that you will not tolerate any political conversation while people are at your home and if it happens you will ask them to stop and if they continue, you will ask them to leave. If you have a family member who consistently drinks too much and then behaves poorly, ask them to limit how much they are drinking in your home. I know that may sound harsh, however, you have the right to establish boundaries within your own home.


  • If you are going somewhere else, you have two options if a conflict starts. You can choose to think about it differently. Maybe you tell yourself that this is how they express their love for one another by engaging in conflict, or you tell yourself that it doesn’t involve you so you are not going to worry about it. The other option is to say something like, “this year has been stressful enough, if you continue with this conflict, I am going to leave because I want to enjoy my day”. If it continues, you leave.


  • If there is someone who judges or criticizes you and makes you feel bad, you have the same options as above. If you don’t want to ask them to leave or leave yourself, you can change the way you think about what they are saying. Perhaps they are judging you because they don’t understand something about what you are doing. Perhaps they are judging you because they are jealous of something you are doing. Whatever their reason is, instead of internalizing it and making yourself feel bad, change how you think about it. Perhaps you will tell yourself, “this is about them, not about me”. Or maybe you have more compassion for them because you think, “I can’t imagine going through life so negative and with so much judgement”. Whatever the new thought is, make sure it is something you can believe and that that it is about them, not about you.


  • Cut back on how much money you spend. Especially this year, so many people are experiencing financial stress related to the pandemic and the holidays can make it even worse if you are not intentional about what you are spending. Decide ahead of time how much you are going to spend and stick with it. This is a year like no other so things may have to be different in terms of gift giving, and that is okay. That should not be the main focus of the holiday anyway, right?


If you are looking for additional support related to mindset, stress and anxiety, and/or relationship struggles, consider coaching with me. I help my clients resolve their concerns once and for all so that they no longer struggle and suffer during the holidays, or any other time. For the first time ever, I am offering a monthly coaching program so that I can help more people end the year feeling better, stronger, and ready to take on 2021 by storm!  


I am wishing you a healthy and drama free holiday season!



~ Karen

Live your best boss lady life.

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