Relationships at Christmas
Christmas time is a yearly test for relationships, it’s a stressful time on both time and wallets. This is amplified if your relationship is already strained. A recent Facebook study reported that most breakups occur two weeks before Christmas. Having realistic expectations of what you can and can’t do, and making time to practice self-care such as exercise, enough sleep and relaxation, can relieve stress levels which, in turn, will reduce strain on your relationship. Here are some other tips on how to decrease stress at this time of year.
· Communicate: Set your boundaries and make them clear. Talk to your partner about what you may need over this Christmas period; space, extra TLC, support with family.
· Articulate your stress; Be mindful of how you are talking to each other. If you want to voice a concern, try saying ‘I’m feeling stressed because’ rather than ‘you are stressing me out’. Try and communicate clearly but ask yourself do you really need to say this, if it can wait let it wait.
· Manage expectations; Remember that Christmas throws up circumstances that aren’t present at other times of the year. So, remember that the holiday relationship stress is contextual.
· Plan in advance; Try to openly discuss plans and details for the Christmas period making sure that you are both prepared for what may arrive; arguments about family, planning out who goes where, what’s expected for gifts