Holidays are typically known for family, friends, food, and helping others. But they are also well-known as a time for stress, chaos, loneliness, and disconnection.
Couples are particularly at high risk to disengage at this time.
This can happen thanks to additional work demands, keeping up with the kids’ holiday schedules, and the pressure to make everyone’s holiday special with the perfect gifts and favorite family recipes. It’s important not to lose sight of what each of you mean to each other and set the tone for what the New Year will bring for your relationship no matter how busy you are.
Here are ten 10-minute connections you can make with your partner during the holidays.
I challenge you to connect with your partner with one of these ideas daily until the New Year!
- Daily dialogue: Spend ten minutes communicating with your partner about your day. Verbally express how you felt when your partner met your needs or did not that day. Make sure to discuss specific ways you both can continue to make each other feel safe, loved, and important.
- A long hug: I challenge couples to do this even when the house is a mess, the kids are running around, and phones are ringing. Pull each other close and just shut everything out for a few minutes. Trust me, it will all still be there! Focus on the beat of each other’s heart and the warmth of each person’s body. This should reassure each of you of the other’s presence.
- Sit on the porch together: This is an opportunity to change your environment without leaving the house. Sneak away with a blanket and enjoy gazing at nature’s miracles we see this time of year. Relax in each other’s arms.
- Stress release treatment: Give your partner a quick back, body, or foot massage. This is a great way both to connect and release stress. Light aromatherapy candles or use scented oils to awake the senses and create a memorable experience. Play soft music to aid in reducing stress.
- Build a fire together: Put your fireplace to good use by creating a space for connection. As an added bonus, you can demonstrate a little teamwork while creating a romantic scene to enjoy.
- Morning coffee: Instead of rushing out the door to the office with hot beverage in hand, get up a few minutes early to connect with your partner over a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Make sure this is a no phone zone; it’s only 10 minutes!
- Pray together: It can seem more convenient to say your prayers alone due to your partner’s conflicting schedule. Come up with a set time that works for each of you, and connect spiritually by praying together daily.
- Write a love note: Share your thoughts and feelings on paper and surprise your partner when they least expect it. This reaffirms to your partner that they are on your mind even when they are out of your presence.
- Take them lunch: If your partner is swamped at the office this time of year, let them know that you care about their self-care. Pick up some take out or pack up some leftovers from last night’s dinner and take lunch to them. Even better, stay and eat together so you can connect, even for just a few minutes.
- Give them something to remember you by throughout the day: This could be a little memento that only has special meaning to one of you. Give something with your fragrance on it (get creative with this one) or just send a selfie of you blowing them a kiss.
Porsha Jones, LAMFT