Fall holds a special place in my heart, not just because it's the season of my birth but also because it's a time when my creativity flourishes. Ideas that may have sprouted in other seasons tend to blossom fully in the fall, making it a period of heightened inspiration for me. Darrick, my husband, recognizes the significance of this season for me, embracing uninterrupted football enjoyment while I immerse myself in new projects.
Recently, we've noticed an increase in couples seeking assistance, likely spurred by reflections on their 2023 goals and assessments of relationship satisfaction. Prompting me to share some resources with you. Holiday gatherings can often become occasions where couples compare their relationship progress to others, leading to feelings of inadequacy or dissatisfaction. Approaching the Holiday Season, some may grapple with their own dissatisfaction of life, questioning the value of preserving their relationships. It's worth noting that divorce rates often spike in March and August. Never fear the Coach is here.
As a Visionary Strategist Coach, I would like to offer you some tools to get you through the most stressful time of the year.
1. Identify Your Season:
Understand the current season of your marriage and prepare accordingly. Just as the weather can be deceiving, recognize the needs of your relationship during different phases. Acknowledge when you need to invest more in yourself to avoid pouring from an empty cup or expecting others to fill your cup.
2. Avoid Comparisons:
The holiday season can evoke both the best and worst in us. Resist the urge to compare your relationship to others. Everyone's journey is unique, and the challenges couples face are often unseen. Focus on the work you and your partner have put into building your relationship.
3. Discuss Holiday Spending:
Turn the holidays into a time of genuine connection and gratitude rather than a materialistic showcase. Discuss spending plans openly, set a budget and commit to respecting it. This can prevent financial strain and foster a more meaningful holiday experience.
4. Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing:
Post-holidays, the consequences of decisions made during the festive season may surface. Keep the main thing the main thing – prioritize respect and communication. Spend a few minutes in the morning and evening engaging in meaningful conversation with your partner.
5. Plan Your Day:
Take control of the holiday season by planning your day. Structure your time to manage the myriad of activities and obligations. Be flexible enough to allow for unplanned moments of joy amidst the scheduled chaos.
6. Evaluate Your Holiday Traditions:
Take a critical look at the traditions you and your spouse follow during the holiday season. Ask yourselves if these traditions still bring joy, connection, and meaning to your relationship. Be open to evolving and creating new traditions that align with the current season of your life. Don't be afraid to let go of rituals that no longer contribute positively to your relationship and consider introducing ones that reflect your growth and shared values.
7. Practice Gratitude Together:
Amidst the hustle and bustle, make intentional time for gratitude. Share with your spouse the things you appreciate about each other and your relationship. This simple practice can foster a positive atmosphere and remind you both of the reasons you chose to be together. Gratitude can be a powerful antidote to the stress and challenges that may arise during the holiday season.
8. Set Relationship Goals for the New Year:
As you approach the end of the year, take the opportunity to set relationship goals for the upcoming year. Reflect on the highs and lows of the past year and discuss where you envision your relationship going. Setting shared goals can create a sense of unity and purpose, reinforcing your commitment to each other.
9. Create Intentional Moments of Connection:
During holiday chaos, intentionally create moments of connection with your spouse. Whether it's a quiet evening together, a shared activity, or a simple gesture of affection, these moments can strengthen your bond. Quality time is often more valuable than quantity, so prioritize meaningful connection over a busy schedule.
10. Seek Support if Needed:
If you find yourself facing challenges that seem overwhelming, don't hesitate to seek support. Whether through Coach Nycholle’s Marriage/Relationship Coaching, participating in my online Fine Tune Your Vision Coaching, or purchasing one or more of my books, acknowledging when you need help is a sign of strength. The holiday season can be stressful, and having a support system in place can make a significant difference.
Remember that the holiday season is an opportunity to celebrate your relationship, express gratitude, and reinforce your connection. By navigating this guide intentionally, you can approach the end of the year with a sense of unity and a foundation for a positive start to the new year.