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Holiday Guide to Happy Relationships - 10 Simple Tips

Dr. Jess     
Keep the fire burning in your relationship throughout the holiday season with these tips from Dr. Jess.

Whether you’re single, dating, married or divorced, the holidays are supposed to be a time to celebrate with the ones you love.

However, it is not uncommon for the stress of the busy season to take a toll on your relationships. The pressure of buying gifts, entertaining and balancing family responsibilities can turn the cheeriest elf into one miserable scrooge. Don’t let holiday stress destroy the relationship you’ve worked so hard on all year long!

Read through these top tips for maintaining happy, healthy relationships during the festive season.

Share the Love

Money can buy you happiness... as long as you’re giving it away. Research shows that spending on others, volunteering, and supporting charities can actually improve your well-being and boost your happiness. What a perfect win-win scenario!

Choose your favorite charity and collaborate with loved ones to donate a few hours or dollars to brighten the holiday season for those in need. Banding together for a worthy cause is not only a great way to give back to your community but can also deepen the connection you share with one another.

Put Your Health First

It is common for most of us to ditch our workouts and unbuckle our belts as we wolf down (more than) a few extra desserts and cocktails over the holidays. While making exceptions and indulging in the deliciousness of the season is just fine, the sudden change in routine can have a detrimental impact on your body.

Show your body some love by taking a few minutes to practice mindfulness or meditation in the morning. And when you get to the table, be sure to include foods that make you feel good, too. This does not mean you need to forgo the sweets table altogether, but including a few healthy choices in your holiday diet can go a long way to keep your body and mind feeling balanced and fulfilled.


Some holiday seasons are more stressful than others for practical reasons, so sometimes it can be useful to take a trip down memory lane. If you’re feeling angry, resentful or irritated by your loved ones this year, think back to a holiday that was filled with joy. Talk about those fond memories and be inspired by the possibility of creating new ones.

Say No!

You’re not a scrooge if you decline a few party invitations in favor of a little rest and relaxation or time alone with your sweetie. Cocktail parties, open houses, and family gatherings can be fun, but it is important to schedule some downtime during this hectic time of year. Be realistic when accepting invitations and try to make time for intimacy and pleasure even as your calendar fills up with social engagements.

Give the Gift of Time

The pressure to find the perfect gift for your special someone can be unnecessarily overwhelming. Instead of purchasing tangible gifts for loved ones, consider planning an activity you can engage in together in the upcoming months. From a skating outing to a day of winter hiking, you’re sure to recall the time spent together more fondly than you would a gift card or pair of socks.

Whisper Sweet Nothings

It’s easy for your schedules and relationships to spiral out of control during this busy season and you may not be able to set time aside the way you do throughout the year. However, small gestures can go a long way, so take a few moments during a frenzied family get-together to remind your honey how much you care and offer sexy compliments to keep the flames burning.

Practice Gratitude

Make a commitment to yourself to look for the best in the people who surround you and appreciate your many blessings. Food, shelter, health and loved ones are all worth noting and celebrating. Whether you take 30 seconds to think about what you’re grateful for at the start of the day or track your blessing more formally in a gratitude journal, either way you’ll be better off.

Ease Up on The Sauce

You don’t have to go dry all season long, but be mindful that sometimes boozy conversations can snowball into full-blown arguments. Be cautious about your alcohol consumption during this festive season so that your relationship merriment lasts through to the new year.

Be Inspired by Plants

It’s time to take your hanging plants seriously and lock those lips, folks! Hang a mistletoe in your doorway and make a point of meeting under it on a daily basis. Let your minds and hands wander freely as you breathe in the scent of the holidays.

Create a Budget

Financial stress can be heightened over the holidays, so plan ahead with a budget and be sure to stick to it. It’s easy to be tempted by over-the-top gifts and fancy decor, but diving into debt can wreak havoc on your relationships. In fact, money is the number one cause of conflict for new parents, newlyweds and engaged couples alike, so be pro-active and set limits to reduce your financial stress.

Enjoy the holidays with your partner and remember to always practice safer sex.

Dr. Jess

"An award-winning speaker, Jess has worked with thousands of couples from all corners of the globe to transform their relationships via her wildly successful Marriage As A Business program. From Prague and Istanbul to Albuquerque and New York City, her relationship retreats receive rave reviews from some of the most powerful couples in the world who are drawn to her enthusiastic, practical and no-nonsense approach to happily ever after. Jess's doctoral research focused on sexual health and relationship education and she is passionate about accessible, classroom-based education. When she isn't globetrotting for speaking engagements, she volunteers with students, teachers and social service organizations to empower young people to embrace healthy, happy relationships. As a global ambassador for several brands, Jess contributes regularly to the biggest names in international media. You'll find her advice weekly in the likes of Women's Health, Men's Fitness, Cosmopolitan, SELF, Showtime and The Movie Network. Her insights into couple' issues reaches millions of homes across America as the host of the hit reality series Swing, which just capped its fifth season on PlayboyTV. Canadian-born and Chinese-Jamaican and Irish by descent, Dr. Jess loves ultimate frisbee, crab, airplane turbulence, cheese and red wine. Makes perfect sense, right?"
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