6 Ways Couples Can Connect During the Holidays

By

6 Ways Couples Can Connect During the Holidays
Don't let the season create a rift between you--read and learn how to cultivate holiday togetherness

This guest article from PsychCentral was written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Even though the holidays are about loved ones, they somehow don’t leave much time for couples to connect. Between added responsibilities and family obligations, it might seem like you’re spending less and less time together. Or maybe quantity isn’t the issue, but quality time is.

 

“It is very important for couples to remember that although they are integral parts of their extended families, and for couples with children, integral parts of creating rituals and memories for their children, they also — first and foremost — have a commitment to each other,” said Nikki Massey-Hastings, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who works with couples.

But while connecting might be tricky, it’s absolutely possible. Here are six ideas for reducing stress and staying connected during the bustling holiday season.

 

1. Be selective.

Talk to your partner about the events you’ll attend. “Decide where you will go for which holiday, and alternate the choices every year,” said Mudita Rastogi, Ph.D, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Arlington Heights, Ill. Being selective with your holiday plans minimizes stress and lets you enjoy the events you do attend, she said.  

2. Be fair.

When making plans, don’t shoot down your partner’s ideas. As Rastogi said, “If hubby insists on spending the whole weekend with Grandpa Henry, try to understand why.”

And brainstorm a variety of solutions. For instance, she said, you might drive separately to an event.

3. Have special traditions.

You probably have a number of traditions with your extended family, Massey-Hastings said. For instance, you might eat your holiday meal at the same place every year or have a specific way of opening presents, she said. And if you have kids, you might take them to the same holiday attractions, she said.

Traditions that involve the two of you are just as important. These rituals help to bolster your bond, Massey-Hastings said. And they protect against potential stressors that might come up from spending time with your extended family — for instance, your traditions might include selecting a new ornament every year or enjoying a special holiday date.

4. Sneak in together time.

Cook an interesting meal together, go to the movies or use your time in the car to catch up, Rastogi said. Even if you’re at someone else’s home for the holidays or hosting loved ones, carve out some alone time.

For instance, go to your room 30 minutes before you need to sleep, wake up 30 minutes before you need to start getting ready, go for a walk or run errands together, Massey-Hastings said. If you have kids, this time without mom and dad helps them bond with their other relatives, she said.

5. Get creative together.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

3 Ways to Guard Against Abusive Love

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by David Sack, M.D. One of the most heartbreaking things about abusive relationships is how much they can look like love in the beginning to their victims. They are often swept off their feet, passionately courted, and made to feel more special than they have ever felt before. Then comes the crash: The ... Read more

Don't Get Married Until You Hash Out These 9 Issues

By

There probably aren’t many people who haven’t heard the words "marriages take a lot of work."  This is a good thing to be aware of before your marriage. That way you won't feel surprised or blindsided when the inevitable breakdowns occur. But you should also be aware of just how much work we're talking ... Read more

3 Tips for Ending a Toxic Relationship

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Holly Brown, LMFT Here’s a quick checklist to know if you’re addicted to a toxic relationship: You have more bad moments than good but you can’t let go because you’re always chasing another fix of the good. The relationship depletes rather than energizes you.  It ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular