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!

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