Handle The Stress Of Holiday Planning During a Pandemic With These Tips

Family thanksgiving

It seems hard to believe, but we are about to enter the holiday season in the middle of a global pandemic! As if this time of year wasn’t already stressful enough, you have to try to plan your season around the risk of illness. How can you manage the stress, and how can you keep your relationship strong through the challenges? Highlands Ranch couples therapists share top tips!

Tip #1: Embrace the Difference. The 2020 holiday season will not look like seasons of the past—it just can’t. Instead of feeling angry or sad about the changes, try to embrace the differences. Does your family go on vacation for the holidays every year? Maybe this will be the year to start a new tradition. Do you always dread having the family stay at your house for days? That Zoom dinner might sound a lot better! Certainly, there are things that will be missed, but new opportunities are always available. If the changes are affecting your relationship, this is a great time to seek counseling and couples therapy. Couples psychologists in Littleton are available in-person and by telemedicine to help you have a stronger relationship and a better holiday season.

Tip #2: Feel the Grief. Just because you appreciate the new opportunities doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t grieve the loss of your normal experience. During the Thanksgiving holiday, you want to make sure to give thanks, but don’t feel locked into good feelings. From lives to jobs to security, many people have lost things during this pandemic, and it is okay to grieve. Talk with your partner about how the changes have affected your relationship, and give yourself the time you need as a couple and as an individual to process and come to terms with this grief.

Tip #3: Enjoy Home. For most people, this year’s holiday season will be spent at home, with members of the same household, like you’ve probably been doing for months. Make sure your home is as enjoyable as possible by clearing up clutter, adding some festive decorations, and maybe even splurging on some new entertainment if it is in the budget. Practice gratitude and consider all the good things you have in your life—even if it is far different than before.

Tip #4: Cut some Slack. 2020 has been a great year to practice self-care and compassion—for yourself! Keep this vibe up through the holiday season and remember to take time to relax. If you hate cooking, order catering, or let the kids try their hand at making dinner (with supervision for younger ones). Maybe your house isn’t as full of relatives as you would like, maybe the meal isn’t a 5-star success, maybe you end up feeling like it is “just another day.” In any case, use positive self-talk to remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Support your partner by giving these same reminders, and try to let the little things go—for you, and for others.

The holiday season is always stressful, and never more so than during a pandemic! It is normal to be very “in your feelings” during these times. If you find yourself feeling more angry than usual, wishing your partner would just go live in someone else’s quarantine bubble, or if you just can’t communicate, consider visiting an expert couples therapist in Littleton to help work through these issues. Dr. Steve, psychologist in Littleton, has helped many couples to work through challenges and come out stronger in the future. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it!



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