It’s the holiday season – time for cheer and spreading goodwill. But let’s not kid ourselves, stress surrounds us. We put a tremendous amount of stress on ourselves – which slowly but surely creeps into our marriage. There is so much extra work to do: shop, bake, cook, wrap gifts – and not an extra second in the day to get it all done. To prevent your marriage from snapping under the weight of what feels like your never-ending “to-do” list, below are my 5 relationship survival tips so you can celebrate this time of year with the one you love – not fight your way through it all stressed out.
- Use a team approach for getting everything done. In other words, divvy up the chores so you can divide and conquer. Sure, it might be nice to do all your holiday shopping together as a couple, but think about how much time and energy you save if you divide up the gift list and holiday chores. Ladies, don’t be a control freak, give it up and let your partner help.
- Be aware of how your partner is feeling and gauge their stress level. If you notice they seem exhausted, cranky, sleep deprived and/or overeating – tell them. Let them know you are emotionally available to them and ask them if there is anything you can do to lower their stress level by taking something off their plate – without overburdening yourself. Your partner will greatly appreciate the fact that you noticed they were feeling stressed out – and this recognition will help you re-connect emotionally and “check in” with each other during all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
- Set aside specific periods of time (even if it is brief) to just listen to each other about all the juggling you are experiencing this time of year. This is not meant to be a gripe session but an opportunity to let your partner know what you are struggling with as it relates to the chaos of the holiday season. You both need to just vent – and remember to acknowledge you are in “it” together. In other words, make certain you have enough time to be present for each other. This is the most important “present” we can give each other – the “present” of our time.
- Be absolutely certain you set aside time to have FUN & RELAX together. Even if you can only hang out together for fifteen minutes on a regular basis, do it! You can’t underestimate how this time spent together will re-charge your battery and re-ignite your sense of connectedness amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
- And last, but certainly not least, be certain to take care of yourself during the holidays. Eat healthy and exercise regularly – I can already hear you say you don’t have time for this self-care during the holidays. My response is: “Really?” You can’t afford not to take care of yourself – especially during the holidays. It will help you enjoy the holidays and the people you love more during this time of year by staying healthy in body and mind. Try it – you will be glad you took the time to take care of yourself – after all, if you don’t, who will?
If you follow these 5 simple relationship survival tips, your marriage will thrive, not just survive during this holiday season.
Rekindle Romance and Happiness in Your Relationship,
Dr. Patty Ann