anxiety, couples therapy, Effective communication skills, Gratitude, LMFT Albany, muticultural marriage, relationship

Tips on How to Avoid Holiday Stress and Feel Close to your Partner.

 

 

 

In addition to everyday stress and pressure, holidays often add more demands: planning, gifts, shopping, coordinating, menus, money, travel. etc…Every day becomes a real challenge, tension increases and it becomes more difficult to enjoy the holidays.

So, what to do if you are feeling overwhelmed by the additional obligation, expenses and expectation from family members during the holiday season, while trying your best to make everyone happy?

So first, pause… Just before you dive into the festive season, it is vital to be aware of some tips to enjoy the season more.

These tips will reduce  stress levels and also bring you closer to your partner.

Most couples enjoy hosting their families and friends for dinner and other parties across the holiday season. Hosting these events requires a lot of planning. The host takes on a large part responsibility. The preparation can be so overwhelming for the couple that it starts to strain their relations. One result of the stress is the frequent fights and miscommunications.

1. Rethink how you go about the preparation

Discuss with your partner what each of you is going to do and what you are going to do together. Having a clear plan in mind, create a list with tasks “who is doing what “. It will reduce your anxiety and stress over the planning.  If the event is big,  get another person or a family member to help you with the planning. You might even consider hiring a helper. The few dollars spent will result in reduced stress, more time with your partner and eventually- an elegant event.

Relationships strain when the partners cannot get time for each other.

 

2. During the holiday season, find some time for each other.

Take a walk through the park or attend some events together.

This time can be effective in bringing the couples together and increasing happiness levels.

Many people feel an additional pressure to meet extended family members during the holiday season. These might include a critical brother-in-law who never thought you were good enough for his little sister, or an uncle who is an active supporter of the opposite political party, or in-law who seems never happy with your cooking skills.

A conversation with either of these people will most likely leave you frustrated, especially if you’ve been trying to make the event perfect. Here are two effective methods to redirect the unpleasant discussions.

3. Handling stressful conversation.

Ask for help: people like to feel needed. Therefore, soon as a person throws a criticism your way, find a smart way to ask them to help you do something. You can say something like:

” This is interesting… By the way, could you help me with …..”. Get them to help you with something. It may be difficult for people who don’t like to ask for help but believe me, it will make critical figures feel important and redirect their thinking from the current conversation to that you want them to do.

If you feel that conversation is heading in the wrong direction, you can also reply: ” This is interesting, but let me ask you about something else…..”  Ask for advice or anything that redirects them from the unpleasant topic. When you ask a person for advice, you indirectly acknowledge their worth. It validates them, and to match up to the validation, they will most likely be willing to give you the advice thereby abandoning their earlier conversation.

4.    Plan to surprise your partner with a gift.

Finally and perhaps most important, get your partner a gift.  There are partners who understand the love language of gifts. They feel most loved and appreciated when they receive a gift. If that is your partner, then a gift should be a MUST.

Finally, as you enjoy the festive season, remember to respect the needs, expectations, and desires of your partner.  Being considerable towards your partner is one of the most useful ways to attain your

own happiness.

Have a nice holiday season!

Please feel free to leave any comments!

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Tips on How to Avoid Holiday Stress and Feel Close to your Partner.

  1. Great advice! Anything we can do to relieve stress can only serve us!
    I remember co-workers always complaining about another worker who never offered to help anyone even if they were struggling. It turned out that she would be more than happy to help if someone would only ask her; otherwise she did not want to interfere!
    I delegate constantly when hosting functions, and people are always willing to help. Great post 🙂

    1. Thank you for the comment. This is a perfect observation from your work. Most people love to be asked for help. However, ones may be hesitant to offer a helping hand to perfectionists, who would like to do everything their “perfect” way, even if they are obviously struggling. Learning how to ask for help and how to offer help can be great skills for many people and definitely will low stress and tension at work and at home.

  2. These are all such great tips — thank you! I especially appreciate your ideas about how to turn things around with critical family members and guests. My husband and I both struggle with that, and it always leads to one or both of us feeling out of sorts during what should be a season of joy. I’m going to share this article with my husband, and we’ll definitely give your tips a try this year!

    1. Hi Dedee, It’s great that you found something you can use right away! Good luck on all your family interaction and I hope it will work for you!Wishing you a great holiday season.
      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Good advice! Everyone is under some stress yet it’s becoming harder to just ask for help, maybe we are just afraid. As you said “people like to feel needed”, we should not be afraid of asking help. At the same time I think it is important to show our appreciation and say ‘thank you’ after you get help.

    1. Thanks for reading, Tom. Yes, Appreciation and Gratitude are very important for creating stress and anxiety free atmosphere not only during the holidays but all the time.

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