Archive of ‘Holidays’ category

Five Healthy Relationship Tips for the Holidays

Staying happy and healthy during the holidays!

The holidays are most certainly one of the most stressful times of the year. Between the gift buying and giving, the holiday parties, the family visits, and other pressures, one can get lost in the true meaning of the holidays. Not only that, but no matter how long you’ve been in a relationship or commitment, it can begin to have a toll on you and your partner as well. Statistics show that more break-ups, divorces, and infidelities happen around the holiday season. This could be in part because of the stress that individuals are under can begin to pile up, making people unhappy and, at times, difficult to be around. However, many of these issues can be avoided with the appropriate tools and mind set. I’ve put together a list of five tips that you can try incorporating with your partner to maintain a healthy relationship during the holiday season.

By: Angelica Beker, LPC-Intern Supervised by Lora Ferguson, LPC-S

Five tips for you and your loved one:

1) Communication is key: This first tip is the most important. Taking the time to talk to your partner, hearing their concerns and opinions, and discussing ways to mediate and combine plans and ideas can be crucial. Sitting down and discussing a plan for family visits and trips can ease the stress of making sure all family members and parties are seen during the holidays and each partner gets the time they want with their loved ones. Allowing each other to talk out the stresses going on at work, at home, and anywhere else can also be key. The foundation for a healthy relationship is open communication. As such, having the both of you talk out your concerns and wishes for the holidays can be very helpful.

2) Alter your vision of a “perfect” holiday: Many people envision the holidays to be “so romantic” and “perfect” due to the portrayal of holidays in movies, television, and other media. Due to this, individuals may have unrealistic hopes and visions for the holidays, such as expecting a proposal or saying “I love you” or introducing a significant other to family too soon. The holidays do have a romantic feeling surrounding them, but this does not mean one should get carried away. Having healthy, realistic expectations for your relationship and where you relationship stands. Live in the moment, count your blessings, and appreciate the positive, holiday cheer that comes with it.

3) Make time for one another: Because of all the last-minute work deadline, holiday parties, family visits, etc., you and your significant other may realize you are spending less time one-on-one. Allow yourselves to do something together – even something as simple as baking or cooking, getting a massage, a bubble bath, movie night, or having a glass of wine together. This will allow you to have quality time with your partner and appreciate one another and devote time to each other.

4) Don’t be afraid to say “no”: If you feel you can’t afford throwing or attending another party or buying a certain gift, don’t. It is important to take note of your finances together and remember that material things are not what make the holiday. Financial stress can be difficult on relationships and can cause fights. Make a budget with your significant other and be aware of what you can and cannot afford. Don’t stretch yourselves too thin. Cutting back on spending money and making time to spend with one another and your loved ones can be more rewarding than spending more money than necessary and then stressing about it post-holiday season.

5) Ease up on the sweets and treats: The final tip is in regards to the food and drinks of the holiday season. Holiday parties can be delicious and full of sweets and treats! However, watching what you eat and drink can be beneficial to you and your partner. An overabundance of sweets, alcohol, and fatty, unhealthy foods can directly impact your mood. It can also activate the stress hormones in our bodies as well. Being aware of this can help keep your stress down and can in turn make you and your partner feel better, healthier, and happier, while warding off negative feelings and reactions.

Be sure to show love and understanding.

The holidays are a beautiful time of year and just remember, make sure you let your partner know how much you love for them and appreciate the relationships. Be sure to express gratitude and appreciation towards one another. It is simple to get caught up in the holiday madness, so let’s make this holiday a happy and healthy one for you and your partner!


Holiday Traditions: Yours, Mine, and Ours

The holidays are supposed to be full of fun and exciting times spent with family and friends, right? This is usually the case, but sometimes being overly scheduled can become more of a pain then a joy. Between the planning, shopping, traveling, and cooking it all becomes stressful. One big part of holiday stress is trying to decide where to spend the holidays. In hopes of helping reduce the holiday stress, here are a few tips to help you and your partner decide.

By: Savannah Stoute, LPC-Intern Supervised by Leslie Larson, LPC-S

By: Savannah Stoute, LPC-Intern
Supervised by Leslie Larson, LPC-S

  1. Don’t commit to anything before talking about it – your parents might call and suddenly you feel guilty and you commit to spending Christmas at your parent’s house and on the same day your partner confirms with his or her grandmother. Simply telling your family that you want to check before confirming will hopefully work, if it doesn’t, don’t give up. By not confirming with either family, you can take the time to discuss your wants and needs without hurting any feelings.
  2. Discuss your priorities – If you have an ill family member, then spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with them might become a priority. Your finances and busy schedules can also determine how you spend your holidays or if you decide to stay home.
  3. Try alternating – Alternating holidays can make it easier for both families to plan as well. If you spend Thanksgiving with your parents, then spending Christmas or Hanukah with your in laws would be nice for your partner. The following year you can switch. Alternating holidays can also help you plan your schedules and finances through the end of the year.
  4. Talk about your favorite traditions as a kid or come up with your own – On occasion, you might prefer to spend the holidays at home with just you and the kids (or just the two of you). You can take this time to talk about your favorite traditions as a kid. Tell your favorite stories or why these traditions mean so much to you and why you want to incorporate them. If you don’t have any traditions you want to incorporate, take some time to come up with your own. Get the kids involved as well. You can sing carols, decorate cookies, or volunteer in your community.
  5. Be Flexible – You might spend the whole year planning to go to your parents for Thanksgiving, then the last minute, something comes up and you have to cancel. It might not work out this year, but you can always plan an extra trip in a few months or plan for your parents to come visit you.

Family Traditions

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