adapted from marriagedynamics.com
Are you ready for the holidays?
Gifts bought? Wrapping done? Packages in the mail?
It may seem like this extraordinary year has dragged on and on, and yet in other ways it has flown by. And now the holidays are here again.
This season is all about connection. So it’s natural that we celebrate and reach out to each other by sharing cards and gifts. And we get together in person, or perhaps via Zoom this year.
But the extra activity and emotion of the holiday—on top of the everyday stress of a difficult year—can leave us feeling a bit disconnected from those we love most.
Try one (or more) of these ideas to keep the connection strong between you and your partner this holiday season:
Have a conversation about holiday planning, shopping, and decorating.
Is there something you always do (because you love it) that your partner might enjoy helping with? You never know until you ask! Is there something you don’t really enjoy, but your partner assumes you do because you always take care of it? A simple conversation might help you redistribute holiday tasks in a way that works better for both of you.
Remember to include date(s) in your plans.
That may mean cuddling in front of a movie after the kids are in bed, taking an afternoon hike, enjoying dinner out or ordering a meal from your favorite restaurant. The activity does not matter. It’s the time spent together that counts.
Be generous with kind words and affirmations.
At least once a day, compliment your partner. Express appreciation in words that you say out loud. And don’t forget simple things, like saying please when you make a request and thank you when your partner does something for you (even if it was ordinary and expected.)
Make time for romance.
Bring on the mistletoe! Leave a sweet note or unexpected little gift for your partner to find. Offer hugs. Hold hands and walk around the neighborhood together. Go to bed at the same time. Be intentional and make time for physical connection with each other.
Connection isn’t rocket science. And it isn’t one grand gesture, like a spectacular present.
It’s the daily conversations and the little actions we take that keep us moving toward each other in relationship. Even and perhaps especially during busy seasons.
And if you want to discover ways to grow deeper in your connection with your partner, invest in your relationship by taking a self-paced online course like Managing Stress Together, Mindfulness for Couples, or CoupleGuide™ to Communicating with Confidence.