Planning for the Holidays During the Pandemic
Holidays can be contentious even in normal times. And this is far from that.
With so many people feeling raw and on edge these days, you need to do everything you can to approach the subject from a place of kindness and understanding. But you should also talk openly, honestly, and thoroughly about your hopes, needs, and fears.
So how can you do that? By really thinking things through together and examining all angles. And by preparing yourself — and each other — for the fact that no one is likely to get everything they want in this most unique of years.
Here are some things to talk about to see if you can get on the same page. (Be sure to make the “page” big enough for you both!)
Consider downloading our book and reading over Key #4 on communication before beginning.
Questions to Ask Each Other to Successfully Plan for the Holidays During the Pandemic
The below examples are just that — examples. You’ll likely have issues specific to you and your family.
Think of these ideas as jumping off points to help with your discussions:
- What do you normally do that you imagine will need to be altered this year?
- How do you feel about those alterations? Are they a loss to you?
- Is there any silver lining in the alterations?
- Other than the two of you, who do you fear will be disappointed by the changes?
- Do you plan to travel? And if so, how do you plan to mitigate the risk?
When going over these questions, it can help to use a calendar and to look back at things that you did in past years.
Additionally, if you attended public events in the past, you would be wise to look into whether they are even happening this year. And if they are, see if both of you are comfortable with the way they’re being put on in terms of safety.
Negotiating Different Holiday Wants and Needs While Keeping the Big Picture in Mind
The goal of starting the conversation is to see how far apart you are.
Once you’ve clarified exactly what your differences are, it’s time to talk about them. Which things are most important to each of you?
If one of you doesn’t want to do something that the other does, talk about why. Make sure you are open about specific fears you might have.
What concessions do you feel safe making to accommodate your partner’s feelings and needs? What measures might be taken to make either of you feel more comfortable? What are the absolute no-gos?
Are there ways to get the same (or a similar) result by altering plans slightly?
For example, if either of you are afraid to fly, would it assuage fears to drive instead? What would that look like?
If you’re used to having a big family get-together but your partner is uncomfortable with that, could you do some kind of “Zoom party” instead?
Again, little about this current situation is ideal. But remind yourselves of the big picture: keeping your family safe and healthy. That way, you can go back to those holiday traditions you love when the world — and your sanity — allows.
Online Therapy Sessions: Get Help Now
Both Tim and Norene have been offering online couple’s sessions for years. Rest assured, we’re experts at helping you set things up on your end.
It will be some time before you can safely attend in-person sessions, so we have created a system that will help you now. Not months from now when things in your relationship have exploded.
If you need individual help with anxiety or depression during this time, we can help with that, too.