It’s the holiday season and pressure is approaching (if it isn’t already here)! By now you realize that your husband’s financial status brings on a lot of holiday expectations. These expectations can come from your children, family members, and friends, and even family friends, right? This can be an exhausting time for a pro sports wife trying to sort out, cross out, and filter through meaningful people in her family’s life. She is responsible for organizing gift giving, preparing dinner menus, scheduling holiday pictures, and of course sending them out on fabulous Christmas cards to awaiting friends and family. She and her husband are expected to host Thanksgiving Dinner for an unlimited amount of guests and buy Christmas gifts for all of their extended family members.
Holiday expectations can come at a significant emotional cost
There are many dynamics that may contribute to this emotional stress. Perhaps you are a pro sports wife who feels financial pressure to provide gifts or money for others when you are trying to be financially responsible your family. Or maybe you are hosting dinner parties for people you don’t like or barely know. Some of you face being home alone for the holidays while your pro sports husband is on the field or the court. For others, holidays are a chaotic time trying to divide visits among both families. Regardless of the specifics, you may experience symptoms associated with emotional stress.
These symptoms may include:
- change in sleeping or eating patterns
- withdrawal and isolation
- feeling overwhelmed.
Here are some self-care recommendations to help you avoid emotional stress and deal with the holiday expectations.
- Set healthy financial boundaries: Discuss with your husband and agree upon a holiday budget (i.e., Christmas gifts, holiday decorations, holiday parties) AFTER factoring in the most importance financial priorities. Stick to that budget by resisting the temptation to meet social expectations! Now you can feel good about shopping because you know you are within a desired budget that’s best for your family.
- Focus INWARD: Focus on just the people who are most important in your life, the people who make you and your family better. Your invitation list needs major revision!
- Hire Help: If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed preparing for the holidays, delegate by hiring good help.
- Alternate Visits: Because travel, especially with children, can be very stressful, alternate your visits to family members yearly to minimize that additional stress. Communicate with family members in advance what to expect with holiday visits. Invite family members to travel to you as well to reduce your travel stress.
Porsha Williams, LAMFT