Three surefire ways to successfully navigate the holidaze with your partner

For many, December can be the most stressful month of the year. Many people are out and about shopping, preparing for house guests or to travel.

The roads are more congested. People tend to get viruses and other yucky bugs. Lines are longer from the grocery store to the movie theater. It is a ruckus!

Here are three surefire ways to successfully navigate the holidaze with your partner.

This time of year can also seriously undermine intimate relationships. Often it is because couples allow outside forces to take priority over the well-being of the relationship. While this is easy to do, as a result, one or both partners can feel ignored, minimized, rushed or second fiddle.

Potential infiltrators such as extended family, holiday parties, work quotas and even children can seriously undermine what needs attention all year long… the primary relationship. The needs of the relationship are ever present no matter what time of the year.

What can be done given the time crunch, obligation and stress so prevalent this time of year? Here are three ideas.

Slow down and prioritize. A dear friend once shared a quote her spiritual advisor shared with her. It goes, “muddy waters… left to settle… clear”.

When we purposely slow down, even in the midst of feeling pressured we engage our rational, planning, reasonable and thinking brain.

We can slow ourselves down in a number of ways including meditation, resting more, doing something for fun or by simply choosing to delay a bit before responding to whatever outside forces are pressuring us.

Slowing down helps us to take stock of what is going on. It helps us to be proactive. It helps us to strategize how we are going to go about doing things. And it can help couples this time of year.

Sit down with your partner and decide together what is important to you both. If you cannot agree on what that is together, you can each choose one to three things that feel important.

While this might not solve all of the problems in the world (or in your relationship), it will help to clarify and to create a holiday plan centered around what feels important.

Check in with each other (and frequently). This one is relatively easy as it involves very little precious time, and it speaks volumes about consideration and caring to the receiving partner.

Checking in can look like, “hey honey, what can I get for dinner while I am out”, or “how is it going for you with my father being here,” or, “I am going to take the kids on an outing today so you have a little space to breathe.”

Checking in can involve smaller or larger gestures, and is doesn’t even have to be task oriented. It can even be just speaking to our partners with a tone and words that make them feel reassured, safe and loved.

Checking in is a great way for us to express that we are present, we are paying attention and that we have our partner’s back.

Partners, please check in with one another frequently.

Decide to make your world a little smaller. Sadly, in the assigned season of giving, obligation seems to rule many. Office parties, family get togethers and opening the pocket book are commonplace.

With sometimes little to no energy to spare for our relationship, we will need to borrow some energy from our “obligatory” list.

Perhaps we leave that holiday party or family get together an hour earlier than usual so we can go and rest in the home that we created together. Perhaps we replace monetary gifts to everyone else with a vacation fund for just us or even some much needed R and R time together.

Giving ourselves permission to make our world just a bit smaller helps us to relax, re-group and give the relationship some much needed attention.

If you are finding that the holiday rush is taking a toll on your relationship and you need support, please contact Align Counseling Center, P.C. today. Call or text at (303) 475-2757 or directly schedule your 20 minute no charge phone consultation to find out if counseling might help your relationship.

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