The holidays may be filled with joy and cheer but they can also be quite stressful. This stress may trickle into your relationship with your partner. This trickle may have an impact that lingers well after the last holiday sale has ended.
Disagreements on how, when where and why to celebrate are not uncommon. Here are a few tips to navigating holiday stress together:
1. Look Inward First
Take moment to check in with yourself. A few questions to consider:
• Are you a “holiday person?”
• Are some holidays more important to you then others?
• Does religion and/or spirituality have a role in how you celebrate the holidays?
• How do you feel about gifts? Do you want to exchange gifts? What type of gift do you prefer: material or experiential?
Share your feelings from your look inward with your partner. This is a good way to eliminate any assumptions or unrealistic expectations.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to your partner. Inevitably, the things that are not spoken tend to come out in other ways so it is best to be able to say what is going on in your internal world.
3. Be Willing to Compromise
What does compromise mean to you? It is not that one partner “wins” while the other “loses.” Compromise is a way for team relationship to win. Alternating traditions and where you spend the holidays are a couple of areas of compromise.
4. Create New Traditions
You may not be able to incorporate or participate in all of the family traditions of both families. This is a great moment to create some new traditions. You can also blend some of your favorites from your family of origin.
5. Seek Support
If you feel stuck to a point where the arguments are unproductive and feel too heavy or hurtful, seek support from a mental health professional.