With Christmas coming up, many Michigan homes are filled with financial stress, food stress, family stress – more stress than we could possibly mention. Small fights that would normally be swept under the rug turn into huge altercations with this kind of pressure in the air. You don’t have to let holiday stress put a strain on your marriage. With the tips below, you can let the positive side of the holidays outweigh the negatives.
Make Plans In Advance
A lack of preparation can make minutely stressful situations seem overwhelming. This is what sends people into a frenzy, causing them to be short-tempered and easily flustered. Try to prepare for the holidays as far in advance as possible. Think about what you’re going to get for each person, what food you can prep in advance when you will have time to decorate, what tasks you can assign to other people, etc. The specific plans you have will depend on what you like to do for the holidays. The more you think about things in advance, the less stress you will feel when the big day finally arrives.
Don’t Go Above Your Means
Everyone wants to have a Christmas-to-end-all-Christmases, but those goals may not realistically fit your time and budget. The most important part of the holidays is spending time with your family, not planning elaborate gifts and surprises. Talk to your spouse about what you can logically do this year in terms of food, gifts, traveling, time off work, etc. Make a plan together that you know you can achieve, and if there is time or money left over, you can come up with a new plan after that.
Talk To Your Spouse About Your Stress
If you are feeling overwhelmed about something, talk to your spouse about it. Tell him or her what you are worried about and see if there is anything he or she can do to relieve that stress. If you are working with a marriage counselor in Michigan, you could go over this during your therapy sessions. Your counselor can provide suggestions on how to get through a tough situation so you do not feel so swamped.
Talking to your spouse about your stress is also a great way to avoid conflict because he or she already knows what frame of mind you are in. If your reactions seem irrational or hasty, your spouse can attribute that to your stress. This may not completely prevent a fight, but it will reduce the risk of an all-out blowout on both sides.
Don’t Put All The Stress On Yourself
YOU don’t have to be the person doing everything for the holidays. Delegate tasks to your family members to take some of the weight off your shoulders. For instance, if your husband is a fast shopper but not a great wrapper, you may have him buy everything on the Christmas list for you to wrap. If your children are old enough to help with the cooking, cleaning, or decorating, let them do that. They will enjoy the extra responsibility, and you will have one less thing to worry about for the holidays.
Spend Some Quality Time As A Couple
The holidays are about far more than presents and food. They’re great opportunities to rekindle your love and bond as a couple. Send your kids to their grandparents’ house one night and drive around Metro Detroit to look at Christmas lights. If you don’t want to get out, have a relaxing night inside watching a Christmas movie together. Put all of the stress to the side for the evening and just focus on your love and your marriage. You deserve it.