Ah Christmas, it’s that one time of year where we get together with family and friends and celebrate all the good things and joy in our lives. Even the carollers sing “Tis the season to be jolly”. So why is Christmas also the time of year when the number of breakups peak?
What do you do, if you and your partner seem to be skating on thin ice and the thought of going to all of these events makes you feel nauseated? Never fear, I am here to give you my five top tips for avoiding the dreaded post-Christmas breakup!
Sit down with your partner and find all of the hidden expectations that you place on yourselves and the relationship at this time of year. They’ll be there, lurking around the extra Christmas cards you bought for the added on people at your next party because you don’t want them to feel left out. Or they’re sitting in the middle of the all day long neighbourhood bash that you’d rather just do a quick “hello and goodbye” dash through.
And the ultimate biggie. Do you have to see EVERYONE on the same day at the same TIME? Perhaps it’s time to get a rotating roster going. This year it’s their family, next year it’s yours. Of course you can still see them on another day. Say Boxing Day or the day after.
Start a gratitude diary for the 12 Days of Christmas. Now I wanted to call this the Gratitude Advent Calendar but this blog has gone out too late. So the 12 Days of Christmas will do! It starts on December 25th and goes until January 5th. So it’ll see you through the New Year.
Best thing to do is an audit of all the good things over the year and make a declaration. We use whiteboard markers on our kitchen splash back. It’s colourful and we spend a lot of time sitting at the kitchen bench, so we stare straight at it.
Avoid the booze binge! So we all know that alcohol loosens up the inhibitions; that’s partly why we like to drink at parties. We feel relaxed and festive and chatty. However, it’s a catch 22 – you see, that part of the brain that keeps tab on all of your inhibitions also projects into the future and assesses risk versus reward. When we shut that part of the brain down, we don’t realise that it’s not such a great idea to tell our best friend what we think of their partner. Or what we think of our partners best friend while we’re at it.
Make sure you stop and talk through the argument you just had, before you go to the next party. Often, we sweep things under the rug or go to bed exhausted and avoid talking about it at a later time. But with so much pressure at this time of year, it’s more important than ever! Also no one wants to see you get tipsy and divulge the not so pretty view you have of your partner because your prefrontal cortex (the reasoning brain) has shut down.
Schedule down time. You’ve RSVP’d to all these parties. And you can also RSVP to my “down time” invite. Usually we make it Boxing Day or the 1st of Jan. Switch off the phones, ignore the door, keep the TV and radio off and enjoy the silence and solitude. You’ll thank me for it later!
I also have some awesome cards that can help you reconnect when you feel at a loss on how to get started or even what to talk about.
Now if you try all this and you still end up in the post-Christmas break up then I have a blog on my 5 top tips of surviving a break up.