How To Survive The Holiday Season According To Your Attachment Type

Buckle up. The holiday season is already upon us. And no matter your level of enthusiasm for the wintery weather, family traditions, and glittering festivities - it ushers in an immediate spike in stress levels. And you know what part of your life (other than your sanity) takes a hit when stress levels spike? Your relationship.

Instead of reminding you to communicate clearly, practice self-care, and breathe deeply in traffic, let's dig a little deeper. Relish provides you insight into your attachment style (and your attachment dynamic with your partner) that informs what kind of content you get every week - it should inform how you survive the holidays too! So here are some tips for getting through the holidays, by attachment type:

If you are a Cat...


  • Be Available: The swirling chaos of the holiday season increases the amount of noise, people, and distraction in your daily life. This can cause you to try to over-correct by finding more time to be alone. But wait! That leaves your partner in the lurch - which isn't your intention. Tell them when you need a breather, but keep your phone on and make sure they understand you're always available. They will feel prioritized and you'll still get alone time without having to slink away into dark, quiet corners.

If you are a Cockatoo...


  • Don't Interfere: As you watch the 'To-Do List' lengthen into infinity as the holidays near, your natural reaction will be to check-in constantly with your partner to see how they're doing, if they're feeling overwhelmed, what they need help with, and so on. This is a truly selfless response and one that will be well-received - up to a point. Too many check-ins and it will feel as if the walls are closing in around them, especially if your partner is a Cat (avoidant attachment type). So before going to your partner and asking how you can be of service, ask yourself if there is any way you can help that doesn't involve going to them directly. (That will be the best holiday gift of all.)

If you are a Rabbit...


  • Be Encouraging: The holidays are a time where families get together, which is a nice way of saying expetations and scrutiny will run high. Behaviors will be analyzed through a microscope, so refrain from any defense reactions like belittling, minimizing, acting hostile or shutting down. There will be emotional scuffles (there always are) but look for the high road every time and extend to your partner the same empathy and compassion you want them to extend to you. So when the turkey doesn't thaw in time or wires get crossed, don't react immediately. Look at the situation through the filter of high-stress, high-pressure, and high-expectation. Understand that they are doing their best, just like you are. Give them a high-five and cut yourself some slack.

If you are a Labrador...


  • Have Each Other's Back: During the holidays, everything is full: hearts, stomachs, and schedules. If something gets put on the back burner, it's usually your relationship. But remember that even though you have to "divide and conquer" to get through the season's many festive demands, your partner needs support, reassurance, and encouragement too. Remember that you two wield the power to instantly improve each other's moods and well-being without huge amounts of effort. Sprinkle some of that holiday magic their way in the form of little surprises or kind words.

And, of course, remember to communicate openly and honestly, practice self-care (even solo walks or short podcasts can make a difference!) and breathe deeply when you get cut off in traffic and you're already running 25 minutes late. The holidays are crazy, but they're also extraordinary. Make sure you come up for air every once in a while to look around and enjoy the moment - and remember to enjoy your partner while you're at it.

Happy Holidays from our Relish family to yours!


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