Navigating the chaos of the holidays doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor, Jason Nik has tips for reclaiming the “merry” of the season alongside your love.
The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Combine the individual stress of the holidays with the stress a loved one is experiencing and you could have an eggnog cocktail for pressure and arguing.
But being in a relationship during the holidays should not add to your stress, instead you should be able to work with your partner to ease things and have a truly happy holiday.
Here are four strategies that will show you how to muster the snow storm and get through the holiday stress with your loved one.
Twelve Dates of Christmas
There’s this thing longtime couples like to call “date night.” I don’t like it. In theory it’s a good idea—when a couple has two busy individuals that rarely have time to go out, they make sure to spend romantic time together by scheduling a date night. In real life however, couples should do everything they can to make sure it never gets to that point.
Dates should happen regularly enough that you don’t have to name it as though it’s some kind of rare, obscure event. This holiday season, in the midst of all that stress, couples should plan to go out with each other more often. It doesn’t have to be 12 dates—though that would be enjoyable—just make sure you take the time to go on more dates than usual. After a long day of holiday preparation and chores you may not feel like getting ready to go out, but when you do go out you will find it was well worth it.
Make a to do list. Check it twice.
Speaking of holiday preparation and chores, with so much to do and so many places to go, make a to do list. Instead of going back and forth from store to store, frantic and stressed, make a list ahead of time so you and your partner can be prepared. Preparation keeps you from being stressed and allows you to set times to know how long it will take you to complete everything that needs to be done. Additionally, time saved with planning means more time spent having fun with your partner.
Silent Night, Hold Each Other Night
Tandem meditation, whether during the day or at night, is beneficial any time of the year, but during the holidays it may be just what you need to reduce or remove your stress all together. The holidays tend to involve a great deal of running around from place to place and not enough stillness. Make sure to take the time to be still with your partner. Sit down somewhere quiet with your partner, hold onto them, and meditate together.
Do You Hear What I Hear? The Sound of a Couple Speaking to Each Other
Talk to your partner. Communication is a major part of the foundation for all healthy and fulfilling relationships. A couples’ inability to communicate with each other is one of the leading causes of a failed relationship. There are many reasons why couples choose not to communicate, whether it is from feeling awkward, making assumptions, or just not thinking it’s necessary. So let me clear this up for you: a couple that is good together should never feel uncomfortable talking to each other about issues that involve each other; a couple should never assume, because if the assumption is wrong, it can create a whole new mess of trouble; and communication is definitely necessary.
Don’t be afraid to address everything you feel is important. “Asking your partner what their individual expectations are for the holidays, what they anticipate, and clarifying what is and is not too much is key to handling holiday stress,” says Sweta Ahuja, a Southern California counseling intern, “Being as specific as possible with your partner communicates that you trust them to have your back and are willing to be a team player.” Communication in a relationship not only relieves stress, but it also opens doors to explore each other’s desires and connect even more deeply.
This holiday season, embrace the most wonderful time of year and appreciate that you have someone to help you get through the stress with you. Follow these four steps with your partner and stressful holidays will only be a ghost of holidays past. With your partner by your side, you can enjoy the present and look forward to holidays yet to come.
[image: via Origami48616 on flickr]