Managing relationship stress during the holiday season
Christmas is considered one of the most joyful and happy times of the year, but there is no shame in admitting it can be one of the most stressful too! Relationships can be the support network for a lot of people, and festive stress can be a big burden for blossoming relationships as well as happily married couples. January 3rd is considered “Divorce Day” strictly due to the increase in relationship breakdowns over the holiday season. Here are some tips for you to avoid some of these stresses and have a truly happy Christmas!
Be honest about finances
Let’s be honest, we all want to buy our friends and family extravagant gifts. The facial expression of a loved one unwrapping the gift they have always wanted can’t be beat. However you have to be realistic and remember that Christmas isn’t all about materialistic items and big gestures. It’s not always a romantic conversation to have with your partner, but if you budget and prepare financially for Christmas presents and decorations you will have a guaranteed weight lifted from your shoulders. Remember you can also make personalised gifts to cut costs, get creative and have fun! You don’t have to break the bank.
Keep a mutual list of Christmas activities
Most commonly this would be a calendar or schedule. Admittedly putting this much thought and planning into the Christmas period may potentially take away some of the magic, but if you have a shared calendar with your partner you will be able to make notes of each others plans and avoid any disappointments or miss out on any other activities. Find out from your partner what is important to them and how they want to spend the Christmas season, as you can easily come to a happy medium. As we all know relationships are all about compromise, and Christmas is no exception.
Make time for each other
Christmas is a very busy time of year, you want to fit in as many visits to friends and family gatherings as you can to get the most out of the holidays, not to mention the office work parties and the fun nights out! But you need to prioritize the ones closest to you. Those with very busy schedules or an intense work life, make sure you have some evenings off with your partner. If it’s a festive date night, or just a night in with a take away, some mulled wine and a Christmas film, make sure you have some time set aside for the two of you.
Be a part of each others family traditions
Family is a very big part of the Christmas season, so it’s important to embrace this with your partner. You may not always get on with your partners family, or enjoy some family traditions, but if you try your best to get involved and become a part of the family activities you will be sure to keep a healthy relationship, and you never know… you may enjoy yourself!
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to admit when you need help. This can be applied to a number of different circumstances but whatever the case is, remember you can rely on people. If you aren’t feeling the festive spirit and are finding the inevitable stress of Christmas is getting too much, don’t hide it. Depression and anxiety symptoms are also likely to be elevated as people concentrate on making others happy, and not themselves. The most effective way of combating this is by being honest with yourself, and those around you. Tell your loved ones, or if you feel like times are tough, maybe talk to a professional?
We want your Christmas to be perfect, along with everyone else’s. But it doesn’t hurt to approach the busiest time of the year with some forward planning and a realistic expectation of what you and your partner can do with your time and finances get in touch. Or if you are currently struggling to resolve a relationship break down amicably, take a look at our mediation services.