5 Tips to Stress-Proof Your Relationship this Holiday Season

How to Keep Holiday Stress from Hurting Your Relationship


It's not uncommon for couples to feel overwhelmed or disconnected during the holiday season. Here's how you can reduce stress and enjoy each other's company in the face of financial challenges, extra commitments and family gatherings.


Be honest about what you spend. Money can be a big stressor during the holiday season, especially if one partner makes more than the other. Holiday gifts should be an expression of how much you genuinely care for your partner. It shouldn't be a contest to see who loves the other more. There's no reason to go into debt during the holidays, and you shouldn't secretly purchase extra gifts if you've both agreed to individual spending limits.


Don't compare. If you try to compare your relationship to someone else's, you may begin viewing your partner in a negative light. Try to remember that no one has a perfect relationship, and things aren't always what they seem. Just because someone appears to have an ideal relationship doesn't mean they do. Everyone is different, and there are many ways to be happy. Count your blessings and try to focus on the things you love about your partner. Instead of looking outward at other relationships, look inward for ways to get closer.


Unplug. It's quite common for modern couples to feel apart even when they are together, thanks to modern technology which dominates our attention. If you and your partner spend a lot of time on your tablets or smartphones, set aside some time every night to unplug and reconnect. Have a conversation, play a game or snuggle up together and watch a movie. These moments can be instrumental at bringing you closer together, so you won't be as likely to give in to stress-fueled conflict.


Be grateful. A growing body of research suggests we can improve our outlook by practicing gratitude. In one study, researchers split participants into three groups, with one writing about things that made them grateful, another writing about things that displeased them and a third writing about life events in a neutral way. After ten weeks, the researchers found that subjects who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic in general and had a more positive outlook on life. If you want to stress-proof your relationship during the upcoming holiday season, try keeping a gratitude journal and take opportunities to tell your partner how grateful you are to have him or her in your life.


Cuddle. Research suggests we get a boost of the love hormone oxytocin whenever we cuddle with our partners. Regular physical contact can promote bonding and help strengthen your relationship. It can also help reduce the risk of stress-fueled conflict during the holidays, while bringing you closer in the long-term.



It's not uncommon for couples to feel overwhelmed or disconnected during the holiday season. If you feel the holidays have caused or exacerbated existing problems within your relationship, the caring therapists at Foundations Counseling are here to help. Using proven techniques, we can help couples with a broad spectrum of relationship obstacles, so they can learn how to communicate better and grow closer to each other. Contact us today!