Relationship Diversity Podcast

How to Navigate the Holiday Stress within Your Diverse Relationships - It's More Than Possible

December 14, 2023 Carrie Jeroslow Episode 78
Relationship Diversity Podcast
How to Navigate the Holiday Stress within Your Diverse Relationships - It's More Than Possible
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Episode 078:
How to Navigate the Holiday Stress within Your Diverse Relationships- It's More Than Possible


In this episode, I'll focus on the holiday season and offer tips to navigate this, specifically within a diverse relationship structure.  The holidays are often,  synonymous with stress and expectations. Through the lens of my personal experiences, I'll lead you through a way to make this season more supportive, nurturing and fulfilling. We'll do this by reflecting on past seasons, identifying how the holiday energy influences us, and approaching this year's festivities with renewed curiosity and self-awareness. Expect to pick up some useful tips on striking a balance, setting clear intentions, and putting self-care first.

Whether you are soloamorous, monogamous, polyamorous or anything in between, this episode will help you acknowledge your desires and priorities and give you ideas about how to bring them into reality.

This is Relationships Reimagined.

Join the conversation as we dive into a new paradigm of conscious, intentional and diverse relationships.

Episode 20: Self-Care is NOT a Luxury

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Please note: I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor, or social worker. I am not attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any physical, mental, or emotional issue, disease, or condition. The information provided in or through my podcast is not intended to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by your own Medical Provider or Mental Health Provider. Always seek the advice of your own Medical Provider and/or Mental Health Provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your specific circumstance.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Are you willing and open to do this holiday season differently? What would benefit you the most this holiday? Maybe you've had a stressful year and rest in quiet is best. Maybe you've had a blah year and being more social will serve you. Think about if you're open and willing to do this holiday differently.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Welcome to the Relationship Diversity Podcast, where we celebrate, question and explore all aspects of relationship structure diversity, from soloamory to monogamy to polyamory and everything in between, because every relationship is as unique as you are. We'll bust through societal programming to break open and dissect everything we thought we knew about relationships, to ask the challenging but transformational questions who am I and what do I really want in my relationships? I'm your guide. Ca Jarislow, bestselling author, speaker, intuitive and coach. Join me as we reimagine all that our most intimate relationships can become.

Carrie Jeroslow:

I have a very full life. There's a lot of wonderful things going on in my relationships, family and businesses, and there's also a lot of stressors and more to accomplish than time to accomplish it in. People ask me all the time how do you do it all? I think this is where my multitasking ability serves me. Others may call it ADD, and it's probably good for me that that wasn't a thing in the 70s. I've learned to work with what I have and make it work. For me. That may look like working on the podcast for 10 minutes and then deciding I'm thirsty, going downstairs to the kitchen to get some water. Being pulled to the messy counter, cleaning it. Taking the dirty towel to the laundry room. Realizing that there are clothes in the dryer, beginning to fold them. Putting something away in the bedroom closet, realizing I didn't make my bed, making it. Returning to the clothes, finishing those. Walking back to my office with the intention of getting back to the podcast, getting stopped by a hungry child asking me to make him something to eat, starting to make him a snack, getting a text from my other business that needs attention right away, running over to my other computer, getting the needed information, returning to the kitchen, finishing making the snack and then finally getting back up to my office sitting at my computer and continuing to work on the episode. Everything gets done. It just gets done in my unique way and I can usually handle it all most of the time when I'm in my own unique rhythm and routine.

Carrie Jeroslow:

But add something extra that pulls me out of my routine or adds a whole new layer of to-dos and my stress level starts to rise quickly until, all of a sudden, I'm in overwhelm. My anxiety amps up my ability to process my emotions, nose dives and I become frozen in an unproductivity loop, sitting at my desk knowing I have things to do but not being able to land on what it is. There's no better example of this than the holidays. My holiday obligations and expectations are very low compared to other people. We want to create a good experience for my kids and thankfully my husband takes the lead here and I give only a few small gifts to others. I don't do holiday cards too much, hermie. My brothers and parents decided a long time ago that we would only do gifts for kids. And goodness, I live in a small town and don't have a lot of holiday parties to go to, and many times my introverted self will opt out unless my extroverted husband nudges me to get out, saying it will be fun. But still, the added stress of the holidays is enough to throw me off my needed routine and out of balance with the things that ground me, and it keeps me from experiencing the positive aspects of the holiday, which can be connection, fun and celebration. So, as a way to help myself and hopefully give you some help, while navigating the added pressures of the holidays.

Carrie Jeroslow:

I wanted to do an episode about this, focused on diverse relationships and how to navigate all of the desires and expectations of having multiple relationships. I also wanted to help find ways for you and me to find balance by prioritizing what matters most to you, while also making sure to carve out a little time for yourself to stay as balanced and grounded as possible. So, before you start to get clear on what you want to experience this year, I always think it's really helpful to be honest with what has happened in the past, and I encourage you to do this from a space of curiosity and not judgment. And before I launch into these series of questions that I have for you, I do want to acknowledge the thought of adding one more thing to your plate during the holidays, which may seem like a little too much. So I just wanted to say that you don't have to formally sit down and journal these out. If that's something you love to do, please do it. If you feel called to write these down, great, but you can also think about some of them in the shower, while driving to work, while falling asleep at night. Even if you made one small change to your experience to really support you and your needs, this could make a whole world of difference.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Okay, so here's some questions to prompt some investigation into your relationship with the holiday season In the past. What is your general feeling as we go into the holidays? Are you excited, nervous, overwhelmed, anxious, happy, sad, zero in on the general feeling that you usually go into the holidays with? Then ask yourself what are you usually most excited about, if anything? What are you usually most nervous about, if anything, in the past? When does the holiday energy start to amp up for you and how long does it last? How do you usually feel on January 2nd, after it's all done?

Carrie Jeroslow:

If you're in multiple relationships, how have you navigated holiday expectations, obligations and desires between partners? Are you happy with how it's played out in the past? Did your obligations, expectations and desires align, or did you want to be doing something other than what you were expected to do? Is there anything you've said like I'll never do that again or I wish I would have done it differently? And if anything else comes up about your past experience, this would be the place to document it, even if it's just an acknowledgement in your mind. Okay, now that you've investigated your past holiday experience, it's time to turn your curiosity to this coming year. Ask yourself these questions what's new about this holiday overall in terms of your relationships?

Carrie Jeroslow:

If you're in multiple relationships, do you know how each of your partners feel about the holidays? What are your priorities? Giving gifts, creating experiences, quiet time with family, quiet time with yourself, parties, a few or a lot of them? Connection what brings you the most joy? What cultural or familial expectations and beliefs have you had that leads to obligations? Has anything changed from previous years to this years to shift your needs, desires or priorities? Examples include a change in relationship structure, a family loss or new awarenesses in terms of personal needs and boundaries. And here's one to really think about Are you willing and open to do this holiday season differently? What would benefit you the most this holiday? Maybe you've had a stressful year and rest in quiet is best. Maybe you've had a blah year and being more social will serve you. Think about if you're open and willing to do this holiday differently. Okay, now that you've had all this great information, what next? And just a reminder, even if you did one little part of what I'm about to talk about. That little thing could give you a completely different, more fulfilling experience. So it doesn't have to be all or nothing. One small thing can create a really big ripple in your experience this holiday.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Okay, first, set clear intentions. Before diving into the whirlwind of holiday activities, take a moment, few moments, on what the above questions brought up, what your priorities are, and set clear intentions for the season. What are the values and experiences you want to prioritize? By identifying these, you can make informed decisions about how to spend your time and energy. For example, with the recent passing of my mom, my priority this year is time with family and partners. This will play out in different ways, but it will guide my choices. It's also important that I have some downtime to rest and rejuvenate. That might look like. Instead of going full throttle on adventures with my family, I might choose to watch a movie with them, which fulfills both of my priorities and desires.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Next, communicate to those involved beforehand. Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of healthy relationships, especially during the holiday season. Have clear yet compassionate conversations with your loved ones about your plans, expectations and limitations. Discussing these needs in advance can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page. After that, create a realistic schedule. Crafting a realistic holiday schedule is crucial when managing multiple relationships. Be mindful of your true commitments and avoid overloading your calendar. Prioritize events and activities that align with your intentions and bring you joy, and don't be afraid to say no to things that may stretch you too thin. And don't forget about the relationship with yourself. More on that in a moment.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Remember to think quality over quantity. It's not about the number of events you attend or the gifts you exchange. It's about the quality of the time spent together. Focus on creating meaningful connections with your loved ones rather than spreading yourself thin by trying to please everyone. Quality interactions will feel better to you and to your partners and family or chosen family. This is a great thing to talk about in your communication, saying that you're really wanting to have more quality time than more time. Time is limited and making the most being present and enjoying each other's company will be the thing that creates deeper connections and more emotional intimacy, and this is absolutely imperative. Remember to carve out me time. You can't give from an empty cup. Cliche, yes, I know, but also very true.

Carrie Jeroslow:

In the midst of the holiday hustle, it's crucial to carve out time for self-care when creating your realistic schedule, block out moments for relaxation, reflection and activities that bring you joy, whether it's a quiet evening, reading or taking a nice long bath. Prioritizing me time ensures you remain centered and energized throughout the festivities. Some people need more of this than others. Know yourself to know what you need. If you struggle with this or need some help, I'll link episode 20 in the show notes. It's called self-care is not a luxury.

Carrie Jeroslow:

The next is I kind of touched on this before, but I wanna go into it a little bit deeper is be okay with saying no. Find those obligations that you can say no to. I used to worry that if I said no to a party that my friend would be upset with me, but then I realized that through communication and owning my needs, I was able to say no and feel good about it, and I found that many times we're scared to say no, but in reality it really doesn't matter. I take care of myself, I feel better, less strung out, and if it's a friend that I really wanna see, I'll schedule a coffee date to take its place. Remember quality over quantity.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Next is, where and when necessary, establish and communicate boundaries, knowing your limits and setting clear boundaries is a powerful tool for maintaining balance. Be clear about what you can and cannot commit to within yourself first super important and then communicate these boundaries with kindness and understanding. When communicating with your partner, ask them about their own boundaries and limits. Having this information upfront will better help you come up with an experience that will be most fulfilling for both of you. And lastly, have daily check-ins about where your focus is and choose, at the end of the day, to focus on gratitude.

Carrie Jeroslow:

And when I say daily check-ins, I mean with yourself. Whatever we focus on is where our attention goes. If we focus on the chaos, it will be all that we see. If we focus on what's challenging, we'll see more challenge. This doesn't mean that you ignore your feelings. Acknowledging them is really important and gives you a choice point, that moment where you can choose to continually focus on the challenge or shift to a thought that is more helpful and feels better.

Carrie Jeroslow:

I like to end my day in my bed acknowledging where I am and then choosing to shift to focusing on what I'm grateful for. If it was a particularly challenging day, I may just be so grateful to be in my bed under my warm blanket and I may milk that for as long as I can, but usually other things start to pop up in my mind and I end my day in a much more peaceful place. This helps me to sleep better, helps my dreams be less chaotic, and then helps my morning start in a better place. So, boiling all that I talked about into three simple steps Remember what has happened, choose what you want to happen and how you want to feel, and take steps to bring that in your reality. Okay, now I'm realizing I could have done this episode in 15 seconds. Maybe I'll remember that for next year. I wish you all a holiday season filled with your deepest desires, glorious connections, pleasure for all the senses and, more than anything, acceptance and love of your unique self and the freedom to express it.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Stay curious. Thanks so much for listening to the Relationship Diversity podcast. Want to learn more about relationship diversity? I've got a free guide I'd love to send you. Go to wwwrelationshipdiversitypodcastcom to get your sent right to you. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe to the podcast. You being here and participating in the conversation about relationship diversity is what helps us create a space of inclusivity and acceptance together. The more comfortable and normal it is to acknowledge the vast and varied relating we all do, the faster we'll shift to a paradigm of conscious, intentional and diverse relationships. New episodes are released every Thursday. Stay connected with me through my website, carriejeroslowcom, instagram or TikTok.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Stay curious. Every relationship is as unique as you are. Are you wondering why you never seem to find lasting fulfillment in your relationships, or do you create the same kinds of relationship experiences over and over again? Can you never seem to find even one person who you want to explore a relationship with? Have you just given up hope altogether? If this sounds like you, my recent book why Do they Always Break Up With Me is the perfect place to start. The foundation of any relationship, whether intimate or not, is the relationship we have with ourselves. In the book, I lead you through eight clear steps to start or continue your self-exploration journey. You'll learn about the importance of self-acceptance, gratitude, belief, shifting and forgiveness, and given exercises to experience these life-changing concepts. This is the process I use to shift my relationships from continual heartbreak to what they are now fulfilling, soul-nourishing, compassionate and loving. It is possible for you. This book can set you on a path to get there, currently available through Amazon or through the link in the show notes.

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