Healthy Relationships at the Holidays

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship During the Holidays


It’s the most wonderful time of the year…


It’s also, for many, the most stressful time of the year. And even if you love the holidays, chances are, there are a few stressful moments where you find yourself questioning what, exactly, you’ve gotten yourself into. With stress, comes strain, and with strain, brings strained relationships. Here are some helpful tips to get ahead of the stress and help your relationship withstand the holiday storms!


  1. Set Healthy Boundaries


    No matter how strong a relationship is, it doesn’t stand a chance if you don’t protect your boundaries. And this goes for relationships of ALL kinds. Romantic relationships, friendships, relationships with parents, siblings, and children. They all benefit from an understanding of what you will allow during the season and what you will not. And no one can set or enforce those boundaries for you. So take the time to sit down and really define what those boundaries are that will keep you sane. Maybe it’s vowing only to commit to a certain number of social gatherings per season. Or laying out a budget early on, so there are no surprises once you start shopping for holiday gifts, foods, and experiences. Most importantly, once those boundaries have been defined, be sure to honestly communicate them to others, and STICK TO THEM.

2.    Have Realistic Expectations

 No one–and no holiday–is perfect. It’s so easy to get caught up in the picture perfect vision and lose sight of the things that really matter. As a parent, you may find yourself overwhelmed with trying to create the Christmas of your children’s dreams. You might find yourself feeling pulled between multiple family members and/or friends. Or maybe you constantly feel let down by the effort your partner or other loved ones make when it comes to gifts or planning. As important as it is to have realistic expectations for ourselves, it’s equally important to communicate our expectations to those around us, and to listen earnestly to their expectations, as well. Not everyone enjoys shopping for the perfect gift, and would rather just spend that time with you. Try to identify how each person is trying to show you that they care, instead of expecting them to do things the way you would. And, if you know that a person isn’t capable of living up to your expectations, it’s time to alter those expectations into something more manageable!

3.    Make Time for Each Other

Again, whether we’re talking about a romantic relationship or friends and family, it’s easy to let relationships slide during the holiday season. Ironically, a season that is supposed to be a time to celebrate with those we love, often turns into a rushed and frantic season that leaves people feeling farther apart than they were before it started.

Set aside time to check in with the people that matter most to you. If you’re going to be out running holiday errands or wrapping presents, invite along that person who you know would love some quality time with you! Make a point to have a movie or game night with your partner. Make it special with your favorite holiday snacks, or just throw in a frozen pizza and some microwave popcorn and enjoy the time next to each other. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season make you miss out on enjoying it with the people you love the most!

4.    Make Time for Yourself

The best way to nurture your existing relationships is to make sure that your relationship with YOURSELF is as healthy as it can be. Take a little time every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, to do something for yourself. A journal entry, a quick meditation or deep breathing, sitting in your car alone listening to your favorite song on repeat, or even just doing a few stretches between items on your to-do list can all go a long way to helping you feel re-energized and like you’re not running on fumes. We are at our best when we are taking care of ourselves, and it’s especially easy to lose sight of that around the holidays. Giving yourself that time will help you to be more patient with those around you, and will help ensure that you’re not taking everything out on your loved ones.

Implementing these tips into your holiday season doesn’t guarantee a stress-free time, but it definitely helps make it all more manageable. If you’ve tried all of these things and you still feel like your relationships are spiraling out of control, then it might be time to consider talking to someone about how therapy can help. Our team would love to get you matched with someone who can help you navigate your way to a healthier relationship this holiday season!

2 thoughts on “Healthy Relationships at the Holidays”

  1. Raeburn says:

    Stress and depression could negatively impact your holiday season and even take a toll on your health. However, seeking support may help.

  2. Raeburn says:

    Great ideas, Your information is very inspiring. Keep it going. Thanks

Comments are closed.

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