The holiday season can be a stressful time of the year; however, it does not need to be. Don’t let the stress of the holidays ruin your marriage.
One thing that can help manage stress is to become aware of your stressors and prepare how you will respond to triggers during the holiday season.
Talk about these stressors with your spouse and work together to plan how to respond to the inevitable stressors that may come your way during the holiday season.
This can be an effective way to prepare yourself and help you respond to the stressors more effectively.
Be aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learn how to manage those emotions, especially when feeling stressed.
Handling holiday stress in your marriage can be taxing.
Through my work with couples, I’ve identified five helpful tips to help them be less stressed during the holiday season.
By sharing these tips to keep your marriage strong during the holidays, my hope for you is to manage your stress during the holiday season and seek to grow your connection with your spouse by practicing them.
1. Create a holiday budget together
Getting on the same page with your holiday budget will avoid financial stress.
Dedicate some time to focus on working together to create your budget for gifts, entertaining, activities, and anything else you and your family will be doing over the holidays.
Make sure you both agree on the final budget and commit to sticking to it.
If your budget planning works for you, there are some banks that have a holiday saving account, and you can start saving for next year.
2. Date night in
With all the holiday activities, calendars can get full. It is important to make time for you as a couple.
Schedule at least one “Date night in,” and be creative with your time.
Slow down, relax, and enjoy each other. Some ideas might include; make your own pizza together, get some massage oil and give each other a massage, take a bubble bath together while drinking some bubbly, or curl up under a blanket and watch one of your favorite movies.
3. Gratitude statements
Express your gratitude to each other every day during a holiday month. This is one of the best tips to stress-proof your marriage this holiday season.
Have fun with this and get creative.
Wives can leave a message in the bathroom with lipstick while husbands can leave a handwritten note on their partner’s car seat, make a pancake with a smiley face and tell their spouse “I like your smile.”
Uplifting statements from others can help people feel valued and liked.
When working with my couple clients, they have reported that their stress is reduced when they feel valued by their spouse.
4. Be optimistic
Looking at the brighter side of life helps with stress management, and research has shown it can positively impact your health.
There are things you can do to be more optimistic. An example of this would be to be aware of your thought patterns.
When you catch yourself being negative, use that muscle in your brain, and reframe that thought to a positive one.
5. Have more sex
During the holiday season, have more sex!
Sex can help relieve stress by raising endorphins and other hormones that boost mood.
So take the time to connect with your spouse. You will feel happier and less stressed with more sex.
The holiday season is the time to feel closer to your partner. By getting your financials in order, scheduling special times to be together without the stress of going somewhere, expressing gratitude, experiencing optimism, and being more intimate, you can make the connection with them even stronger to emerge less stressed and more loved from the holiday season.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Loretta Parker, has a passion for helping others who want to create healthy relationships. Her style of therapy is warm, engaging and straightforward. Loretta uses an approach which is client centered and provides care, education and tools to help clients with their therapy focus. Loretta maintains a private practice in Sacramento where she helps individuals, couples, families and groups discover where their relational patterns originate from and teach them relationship building skills. Loretta also helps people with trauma recovery by using Brainspotting, Mindfulness and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In 2018 and 2019 Loretta received a Style Magazine award being voted #1 for Best Mental Health Professional.