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5 Steps to Reduce the Holiday Stress

Rog and Kim believe that with a bit of proactive preparation and open communication, the stress of the holiday maze can be navigated with ease.

These Show Notes are a ChatGPT summary of the episode transcript (with brief additional editing)

In this podcast episode hosts Rog and Kim dive into the intricacies and dynamics of the holiday season, examining both its joys and challenges. The duality of the holiday season is indeed a perplexing one. Holidays come bearing gifts of family time, relaxation, and the much-needed work break. However, the flip side brings forth the challenges of work pressures, financial constraints, the desire to meet societal norms and high expectations, and children’s disrupted routines.

Rog highlights other challenges people face during this time. From overconsumption of food and alcohol to breaks in exercise routines and the added pressures of meeting others’ expectations – the season, though festive, can accumulate stress at a rapid pace. The crux of Rog’s perspective revolved around the disruption of daily routines, which requires more effort, inevitably leading to increased stress.

Kim, relating to Rog’s candid introduction leans on the significance of preparation for the holidays, emphasizing the shifts they bring along, especially the financial strain and adapting to spending more time with children and partners. But, as Kim points out, it isn’t just the change that’s daunting; it’s the lack of communication about these changes. When expectations, needs, and coping mechanisms aren’t openly discussed, that’s where problems arise. Preparing mentally for the holiday season can act as a cushion against the exhausting effort our brains make when adjusting to new routines.

However, Rog and Kim believe that with a bit of proactive preparation and open communication, the stress of the holiday maze can be navigated with ease.

So, how does one prepare for the holidays? Here are five takeaways from the episode:

1. Setting Family Goals for the Holidays

Discussing and understanding the holiday desires of each family member can lead to a more harmonious experience. Whether it’s spending quality time, reducing screen time, or even carving out personal growth moments, understanding each member’s ‘best holiday’ vision is crucial.

2. Create a Visual Calendar

Such a calendar, accessible to every family member, can serve as a roadmap, ensuring predictability and reducing potential holiday anxieties. Drawing inspiration from tools effective in businesses, Rog underscores the value of incorporating such organizational techniques within households.

3. Setting Boundaries with Friends and Extended Family

Holidays often involve visits from friends and extended family, potentially disrupting the immediate family’s quality time. A shift in perspective from setting “rules” to forming “agreements” can pave the way for proactive discussions about visits, minimizing last-minute decisions that could lead to potential conflicts.

4. Schedule Time for Your Relationship Over the Holidays

Couples shouldn’t overlook their relationship amid the holiday hustle. Often, plans are made around kids, personal time, and friends, but partners forget to prioritize each other. Embracing the fresh start that New Year offers and setting joint resolutions can significantly bolster a couple’s bond.

5. Support Audit

Instead of overburdening oneself, investing in well-being support, be it childcare, meal planning, or organizing kids’ activities, can alleviate holiday stress. Reflecting on past seasons, identifying challenges, and finding support solutions can make all the difference.

In wrapping up their chat, Rog and Kim emphasize that preparation fosters teamwork within relationships. It’s a collaborative effort of planning, discussing, and aligning. The aim isn’t to chase perfection but to seek gradual improvements. With its inevitable ups and downs, the holiday journey requires one to be kind to oneself. After all, self-compassion isn’t just a comforting idea; it can be a transformative game-changer for one’s mental health.

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To learn more about Kim & Rog's story and what inspired them to start their podcast.