Are the holidays stressful for you? Do they put extra strain on your marriage? If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, you are certainly not alone. Between traveling, business, and in-laws the stress level can run very high!
Here are a few tips to help lower your stress level this coming holiday season:
1) Laugh often.
Don’t take everything so seriously. As you get the kids ready, cook the dish to share, and run around from place to place: expect that it will not go perfectly. Your 2 month old will poop their diaper right as you are getting ready to walk out the door for church. You will forget to put an important ingredient in the dish. You may even have car trouble. The important thing is how you react. Will you react by yelling at your spouse? I hope not. I know that it is extremely hard to stay calm in high stressful situations, but it is important to stay calm and just laugh. You have to admit that it’s kind of funny that your three year old has two different socks on. It is amazing how keeping things light and less intense can do wonders for your marriage.
2) Keep the giving spirit.
As the cliche goes: “remember the reason for the season”. I don’t know about you, but I am always in a more giving mood as Christmas approaches. Think about how you can make this Christmas the best possible for your spouse. It’s hard to enjoy anything if you are self-absorbed and only worried about yourself. Does your spouse appreciate quality time with you? Then make sure to carve out some time for the two of you to spend together, just the two of you. Maybe your spouse appreciate words of affirmation: use this season as an opportunity to tell them how much you appreciate everything they do for you. Keeping your spouse and others as your focus will allow you to experience the joy of giving of yourself to others.
3) Remember you won’t please everyone.
This can really be the hardest. With so many people involved and so many places to be, you are bound to upset someone. Grandma may be upset you weren’t able to make it to her house. Your brother-in-law may not find the gag gift you got him as funny as you thought it was. Make a plan ahead of time of how you are going to maneuver all of the places to be. I believe it is great to try and make it to as many places as possible within reason. If you are supposed to go to five different houses on Christmas day, that might be a little much. But, within reason, it’s important to spend time with family and enjoy the company of others. Keep numbers 1 and 2 above in mind!
Hopefully by following these three simple guidelines, the holidays can be a wonderful blessing for you and your spouse. Have a very merry Christmas and may God bless your marriage!