News Praise Retreats Work With Us Book Resources Blog Contact Free Guide to EPIC Date Night Login

3 Ways to Dissolve Your Holiday Stress in Your Relationship

Uncategorized Dec 20, 2023


Ah, the holidays.

It's a time of celebration, reflection, and merry-making.

But let's be real here. It can also be a time of soul-crippling stress.


Because in addition to all the fun stuff, you may still have presents to buy, packages to wrap, work projects to complete, social logistics to coordinate, kids to take care of (all day), family gatherings to attend, and a now late stack of holiday cards that still need stamps.

Heck, Covid may even make a holiday cameo in your house like it did for us this year.

All this madness can turn this splendid time into a two-week stretch that feels less like vacation, more like a twisted reality show complete with tense exchanges, angry outbursts, and full-on emotional meltdowns.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

Here are a few tools to dissolve your holiday stress. 




1. Set clear priorities.

One of our favorite quotes comes from Greg McKeown. He tells us, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will."

Nowhere is this truer than during the holidays. If you don’t get clear on your priorities for time with each other, time with your kids, and time with extended family, you can bet that all sorts of marital outsiders will be happy to do it for you.

They’ll schedule so many meals, outings, and events that you'll be left wondering, “What happened to time for each other? What happened to time for myself? What happened to my holiday?"


2. Set clear boundaries.

We like to say that priorities are your “yes" to life. Boundaries, on the other hand, are your “no."

If your priority is to actually see your spouse (alone) at some point or to get in a workout each day or to avoid spending all day every day with extended family, you may have to say "no."

And when you do, your loved ones probably won't applaud you for setting such clean boundaries in the service of your own self-care.

No, they'll probably give you strange looks and might even talk about your controlling ways behind your back.

But that seems like a small price to pay for holiday freedom.


3. Do-nothing time.

Remember preschool, where the teachers called a time-out each afternoon, pulled out the mats, and put everyone down for a nap?


We don't either. 

But there's a wisdom to applying this practice, designed for out-of-control four-year-olds, to adults like us with 401Ks, mini vans, and dad bods. The wisdom is this: call a time out each day for family rest time.

This doesn't mean you have to take a nap, although why not? Read a book. Go for a walk. Watch a show. Meditate. Sit by the fire listening to music.

The goal is to take a break from all this constant doing and, frankly, to take a micro-holiday from each other so that you can come back refreshed, excited to be together.

Want more of these life tools delivered to your inbox?

Sign up for the Klemp Insights Newsletter.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.