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With the Holiday’s just around the corner, you may already be feeling your anxiety bubbling from under the surface. Buying presents, making travel arrangements, and dividing family time between you and your spouse’s parents, the season of giving may start to feel more like the season of headaches.
The holidays should be a time spent enjoying the company of your relatives. It is a time that should be stress-free and abounding with love and togetherness. Not a time to be concerned about your little ones, buying gifts, feeling financially strapped, arguing with your spouse, or avoiding your in-laws. Yet, this is how many people feel about the winter season and the many holidays that come with it. So how can you learn to live in the moment and lower your anxiety? We’re looking at 5 of the best tips to avoid stress during the holidays.
1. Create a Holiday Plan
Married couples often overextend themselves during the holidays. Working extra hours for that holiday cash and squeezing in as many friend and family dinners and gift exchanges can get stressful and tiring. Relieve your stress by creating a plan for the holidays. Talk with your spouse about where you will eat and how family time will be divided.
One great way to get organized for the holidays is to set a rotating pattern. For example, perhaps this year you will spend your holiday with your mate’s family and the following year you will be with your own. You may even decide to throw in a year when you host a combined family event. Or maybe you will spend winter holidays with your family and spring holidays with your mates.
Creating a holiday plan will help both the partners feel that equal time is being given to their families. Letting your families know about the holiday rotation will also help them stay organized and know exactly what to plan for each year.
2. Watch What You Eat
One way you can avoid stress this holiday season is by watching what you eat. Holidays are synonymous with food. These free-flowing alcoholic drinks and immense turkey dinners are delicious, but they can make you feel bad about yourself in more ways than one.
Overindulgence in foods that are high in carbs or fat can make you feel sick and bloated. Similarly, drinking too much alcohol can make you feel sluggish and moody for days. Watch your diet and get plenty of exercise during the holidays. These will raise endorphins, boost your mood, and reduce stress.
3. Set a Budget
Most married couples have argued at least once or twice about how to handle finances. In fact, money is one of the most common topics married couples fight about.
An estimate of 2016 holiday spending shows that during the cooler months, the average American spent more than $900 on gifts. This is a huge financial dip that may leave both you and your partner feeling stressed about how you will be able to cover your bills, mortgage, insurance, and other household expenses.
Avoid stress during holidays by setting a reasonable budget for spending. Your budget should include any groceries bought for elaborate holiday dinners, gifts, and travel expenses. It may be tempting to spoil those you love the most with gifts, but remember not to spend beyond your means. Your family would rather have you free from debt than receive the newest iPhone – we hope!
4. Get Ready for Small Talk
One big stressor during the holidays is the inevitable small talk you will have to make with extended family and friends. This is especially true if you are spending the holidays with your partner’s family or at a friend’s home. Talk with your significant other and make a plan of attack for uncomfortable holiday gabbing.
Choose a list of topics that you can fall back on. Try and linger on positive chit-chat and stay away from uncomfortable topics like politics or marital woes. Pick upbeat topics like an extracurricular activity your child is taking part in or something funny that happened to you recently. It can also be helpful for you and your mate to try and remember ahead of time what is going on with your extended family. Did your sister-in-law just buy a puppy last month? Ask her how training is going. Is your second cousin just entering college? Ask how it’s going.
Making an advanced plan for small talk topics will help ease some of your holiday stress.
5. Love Your Marriage Mate
Holiday’s tend to revolve around other people. Family dinners at relative’s homes, buying gifts, attending mass. There is so much hustle and bustle surrounding celebrations that it can be easy to get wrapped up in the stress of it and completely forget to give your marriage any attention. Here are two simple ways you can remember your marriage mate during the holidays.
Get Out: Planning dinners and get-togethers can become consuming. Get out of the house with your marriage mate and reduce your holiday stress by doing something fun. Plan a date with your significant other, go hiking, see a movie, or spend some intimate time together at home. Whatever you do, just be sure it isn’t related to the holidays.
Hug: One of the best ways to reduce stress during the holidays is to show love to, and lean on, your spouse. When you are stressed out, go give your partner a big hug. Studies show that a long hug with someone you love can raise levels of oxytocin; the love hormone. This can lower your stress and make you feel happier and more in love with your mate.
Does the perfect holiday really exist? The answer is no, so why are you stressing yourselves out by trying to create the perfect day? Endeavor to live in the moment together. Enjoy your children and the company of your friends and family. Live from moment to moment instead of planning all of your next steps during the holiday season.
Author Bio:- Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.
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