Let’s be real, this time of the year is BUSY.
It can feel like you have no downtime, no time for yourself or your partner.
With work parties, spending a lot of time with family, Christmas parties, holiday travel, and shopping for gifts can all make the holiday season feel like a crazy blur not to mention stressful. That crazy blur and the stress that comes with it can put a strain on any relationship, however, there are ways to make your relationship more resilient during this time of the year.
Time slips away into the ‘busy’ of the season, demanding your attention, time, energy and money. This can lead to less patience and emotional reserves in even in anyone or any couple. You can feel drained and stressed, which can lead to you and your partner taking it out on each other. This can lead to fights which only snowballs the stress levels.
The good news is there are small things you can do to make a difference.
Communication The Best Place To Start.
Communication is key, having good communication is important during this time. If you can have a talk about the key stressors, priorities and spending limits etc. Financial stress is common during this time and can linger into the new year. Having a talk about budgets and spending limits before you start spending can make a big difference.
Priorities are also an important talk to have before you get into the thick of the season. Time is the other precious commodity we seem to run low on at this time of the year. Which family gatherings, school events, work parties, Christmas gatherings do you want and need to attend? What are your priorities? Planning ahead and agreeing on what is important to you can help minimize stressors.
Keep An Open Mind.
Stress can bring out the worst in any person. If arguments are on the rise during this time keep an open mind to the other person's point of view, be aware of your emotions and how stress changes your behaviors. It can help to take a moment for yourself and use some positive self talk to mantras, like ‘Keep it simple, one thing at a time” or “People are doing the best they can”. Everyone is still accountable for their actions but keeping an open mind and trying to soften your position can help keep things moving forward and communications lines open.
(For those living in Australia it is HOT, hot temperatures can make fuses shorter, so be mindful about how impacts things too.)
We have written about the importance of scheduling sex and the fact that it is not a signal that your relationship is doomed rather that you place a priority on your relationship. The festive season take busy to a whole new level and your sex life can get pushed to the side, it is important to keep prioritizing intimacy if you want to make your relationship more resilient despite the busy. It can give you something fun to look forward to in this busy period.
Alongside scheduling sex, it is important to do things that reduce stress which is why point 3 is so important. So is getting enough sleep, laughing together, making time for yourself can all be helpful in reducing overall stress as well as stress in your relationship.
Mindfulness Or An Activity That Is A De-Stressor For You.
It can be hard to find the time for mindfulness or that activity that lowers stress levels for you during this time of year. However, during times like the festive season, it is important to find time to do those things even if it is less than you would do it at other times of the year. These are the activities that help relieve stress and anxiety and help you be more aware of your feelings.
The festive season in all its glory can mean changes in routine, more social activities, spending more time with family (we love them but they can be major stressors). All this does not leave much time to relax. Things like mindfulness or an activity that works for you can help you breathe, be in the moment, and let go of some stress. There are plenty of apps that are available to guide you through mindful activities if you want something as a prompt or that you can use on the go. A time out for both of you is important, especially during this time of year.
Changes in routine due to the business of the period, it can feel chaotic, it can feel like it creates distance between you and your partner. You may already do things to maintain a connection with your partner, take a moment to acknowledge that. This can help you decide if you need to add any points of connection during this time. These small acts can keep you connected with your partner, things like checking in with each other every evening after work or kissing hello and goodbye.
Having too high expectations during the holiday season can create stress. Christmas and NYE can be magical times but if the expectations you have of your partner are too high the magic can give way to disappointment and stress. If you really want to make your relationship more resilient during this season, it's important to keep your expectations in check. Enjoy the moment, the festivities and your partner for what they are.
Family, Family, Family.
We love them but family can be huge stressors even more so if your relationship with your family is toxic. Linking back to communication have a talk with your partner about how spending time with the family makes you feel. Does it bring out the worst in you? does it bring out parts of your teenage self? What emotions are associated with that? Do you feel shame, anger, stressed, etc? It can be scary to be this vulnerable with your partner, but honest conversations can strengthen the bond between you. During this talk create plans to help each other out.
Don't Stress Over The Small Things.
Easier said than done, right? During the festive season, there's a bit of pressure to make things perfect. No one and nothing is perfect and aiming for perfection will only lead to a lot of stress and tension. Try to let the little things be and don't make small issues a bigger deal than they are. This leaves space, time and energy to enjoy each other and have a good festive season together that brings you closer together.
In It Together.
All the external forces competing for your attention can impact you as a couple. This is when it is important to remember you are in it together, adopting this mindset can help create resilience in your relationship. So keep the lines of communication open when it comes to holiday all things holidays. Remembering you are in it together helps maintain and prioritize your supportive, kind, and respectful relationship in a period of stress and overwhelm.
The craziness and busy of the Christmas and NYE period can cause a lot of stress in relationships. Small things like these can help your relationship not only survive but thrive during this time.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide and overview of the subject matter. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions. Seek advice specific to your situation from your medical professional or mental health professional. Safe - Sane - Consensual