Ease Holiday Stress in Your Relationship
Holiday lights are up. Stores are filled with stuffing and cranberry sauce. The famed red cups are out at Starbucks. But even with all this cheer and excitement, the holiday season can be a very stressful time for couples as they try to figure out how to blend traditions and schedules.
His or her place?
It can be a daunting task just to figure out if spending the holiday season together is even supposed to happen. You may find yourself wondering if it is the right time for your significant other to meet your extended family or if you’re going to feel comfortable visiting his or her family and not be with your own. If you are newly engaged or married, this can be even more difficult as both sides of the family will expect to have you both present at holiday family functions.
The first thing to do is realize that because you are now both adults (presuming that if you are reading this you are over 18; if you are not, stick with your parents for now), and it is time that you make the decision as independent minds rather than taking action because your mother/grandmother/Aunt Carlotta set an expectation for you.
The second thing you have to do as a couple is set the expectation. If you had already decided that you will spend Thanksgiving at his house and Christmas at yours, you should probably talk to him first. Perhaps he had decided that it is the other way around or maybe he didn’t want to spend the holidays together at all. It is important that you sit down and discuss what your plan is as a team. It may be hard to come up with a decision but be sure that when you do, it is a decision that benefits the both of you and strengthens your relationship.
After you have made your decision, ensure that you are both keeping your temperaments in check. When visiting extended family, it can be difficult to keep your cool. Planning can help ease stress. The more prepared you feel, the easier it is to feel confident in welcoming the holidays. Make sure that you coordinate all logistics of each trip together to make sure you do not miss anything and are both on the same page. Also, pack ahead of time! Packing the day that you are leaving is a surefire way to be stressed while on your trip. Do not leave your favorite conditioner or that tie that you wanted to wear to dinner. If you pack ahead of time, you are less likely to forget anything, making the trip a much better experience.
However, stress happens no matter what. Past family drama, gift shopping or unexpected bills can all take a toll on your stress during the holiday. If you start feeling stressed out or upset, ensure that you are not taking it out on your partner. Stick together as a team and you will be able to muddle through the holiday season and maybe even enjoy it a little.