3 Keys to Minimize Relationship Stress During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah behind us, it’s on to the most wonderful (and most stressful) time of the year: Christmas and Kwanzaa. No matter what holiday you celebrate there is always too much to do and not enough time. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and become overwhelmed.

As relationship therapists and coaches, we tend to see couple’s relationships strained this time of year. The endless activities and tasks, shopping, event planning, cooking, baking, wrapping, and decorating take precedent over romance, going on dates, communicating, and having sex. We put our relationships on the back burner. Here are 3 keys to minimize relationship stress around the holidays:

1) Create a Holiday Blueprint Together
Set your intention with your partner to work as a team. Schedule time to create a strategic plan.

Do a brain dump. Think of all the tasks that have to be done over the month.
Make lists of everything by category: gifts, activities, event planning, cooking, baking, card giving, gift wrapping, decorating.
Use a planner or binder and Excel spreadsheets or a Holiday Planner to organize the lists.

Divide up the tasks according to your strengths.
Use a centralized calendar to set time frames according to priority.
Schedule time once a week to check in with each other and make changes as necessary.

2) Agree to a Realistic Budget Before You Shop
Look at your finances together and decide up front what you are going to spend. Stick to the plan when you shop. Make an agreement to check with each other if there needs to be a significant change.

3) Make Time for Your Relationship
Stay connected. Build a couple of “Holi-Dates” into your schedule now. Make your relationship a priority. If you don’t plan ahead, it won’t happen. Even planning a quiet movie night with your partner will go a long way to keeping your connection strong.

The most important thing is to realize that your relationship is precious and if you want to stay connected to your partner, you have to make your connection a priority. We’re here to help you do that. We invite you to join our Relationships Work Facebook Group. There you can get free weekly videos and tutorials designed to help you communicate better and reconnect with your partner. Click the image below to join:

Lori Wilder Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD

Written by

My husband, Bob and I are happily married marriage therapists and relationship coaches who work with couples in crisis helping them to make love for a lifetime.