The holidays are approaching, in fact one of them just passed. And for many people and for many reasons, the holidays are not an easy part of the year. Some of us dread this time of year. We’d like to stay in bed and pretend it doesn’t exist. Does that sound familiar?
That’s okay. But since most of us can’t pretend the holidays don’t exist, what about we figure out some ways to get through the holidays? I will take 7 posts to dive into different ways to navigate the holidays. Join in with me and even chime in.
Did you miss part 1, 2 or 3?
Part 4: Set Expectations For You & Your Family
One of the many important things in navigating the holidays is learning to set expectations for yourself. Know what your triggers are – what will set you off. And then set up parameters for yourself on how to respond when these triggers show themselves.
What triggers your emotions during the holidays? Social media? Questions? Parties? Children? Pregnancy Announcements? Know what those things are, and set yourself up for success by determining ahead of time how will you respond or how you will avoid those triggers.
Does seeing all the family photos on social media trigger your emotions? Stay off social media.
Do family members questions about your family or pregnancy status trigger your emotions? Find someone that can watch out for you and pull you out of those conversations.
Do Christmas parties trigger your emotions? Maybe you don’t go to at least one of those parties.
Is being around children during the holidays a trigger for your emotions? Limit your exposure to kids during the holidays.
Are pregnancy announcements triggers for your emotions? Determine where you usually see or hear these announcements and stay away from those areas.
Another big expectation you can set – is your family’s expectations. What that means is let your family know how hard the holidays are for you. Let them know why it’s hard for you and what specifically is hard for you. Let them know how they can support you during the holidays.
They don’t know how to respond because they aren’t in your shoes. They haven’t walked the road you’re walking. And they’ll never understand if you don’t let them in and show them.
Helping them understand will help you in the end, because they’ll now be able to help you navigate your family christmas events. And then, you and your family just might have the Christmas you deserve. A Christmas focused on Jesus’ birth.
Want to hear more about the next tip in this Navigating the Holiday series? Sign up for our email list and get the articles emailed to you directly as soon as it goes live.