Holidays are a time of celebration. A time of dinners, family, cooking for large groups, kids running around the house; finding the right gifts, wrapping them; keeping certain members of the family away from others; driving to grandmothers and getting a flat tire en route. In short, the holidays are a time of stress.
In the fury of the holiday season, you and your partner suffer from the stress. But it doesn’t have to be all stressful. There are many ways you can reduce your holiday season relationship strain. Here are some sure fire ways to avert or at least reduce the perennial stress of the holiday season.
Let’s start off with some DON’Ts:
- DON’T complain about how much everything costs. Money is the source of all evil. We all know that Christmas is expensive. Gifts are expensive, traveling is expensive, buying all the food that needs to be cooked isn’t cheap. At the same time, the holidays brings happiness. It brings joy, fond memories, and the extended family together. Don’t let the subject of money ruin it.
- DON’T allows issues to build up. Bottling up emotions, even if relatively trivial, tends to lead to harm. For instance, if you feel neglected by your significant other, ask them for a hug or kiss. There’s nothing wrong with expressing your feelings. Just try to do it calmly and softly.
- DON’T forget to spend quality time with your significant other. During the holidays your house can become flooded with relatives and non-relatives alike. Make sure to set aside time to be with your partner. Have relatives watch the kids while you and your partner go for a stroll.
Now, here are some DOs to keep in mind:
- DO say I love you. Simple, sweet, and certain to be appreciated no matter how, when, or why it is said.
- DO make plans. In all of life’s situations, drawing up a plan of action always makes things run more smoothly. The best way to start: sit down with your partner and jot down a list of everything that needs to be done. Equally important: assign tasks and stick to them. Don’t start swapping or neglecting or delaying the job your assigned.
- DO make a real effort with the in-laws. Many of us get along perfectly well with our spouse’s in-laws. Many of us certainly do not. Even so, really making an effort, really showing that you’re trying will work wonders with your significant other, even if the in-laws don’t care or notice at all.
- DO realize that Christmas, despite your carefully laid plans, is never perfect. This advice is just as relevant to your relationship with your spouse. Learn to lower expectations. More importantly, though, accept that much—if not most—of the time, effort counts more than measurable success.
Dr. Mike Mavrostomos is passionate and top-quality comprehensive care dentist located in Bedminster, NJ whose continual pursuit of education and state-of-the-art dentistry has led to his being recognized as one of New Jersey’s Top Dentists by the New Jersey Top-Docs committee. Check out our website, reviews, Facebook page Connect with us and learn!