Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection…I do agree that if we do find quiet moments during the month of December, if we slow down and reflect on what was important to us during the past year we can strive to make the new year better. Research does suggest that the quality of our relationships affects our happiness and quality of life (Gilbert, 2007). The Christmas season and approaching New Year can be and excellent time where we take stock of our relationships and take steps to strengthen what is positive and good and change what is difficult and weakens our bond of love.
- Social media detoxification: Unfortunately, social media can isolate us. Spending hours scrolling down Facebook and Instagram can bring us closer to those living far away but further from our partner who is with us in the same room. Put your mobile on airplane mode for a couple of hours each day. Do not answer emails for a day or two. Our loved ones need to be more important than work or that latest hit video you just downloaded. Show them by giving them your time.
- Spend quality time together: Plan times when you can relax together by cooking a meal, going out for a walk in the country side, having heart to heart conversations. The holidays can be a time where you can reflect on the past year and be thankful for the times shared. I believe that during the Christmas period we need to acknowledge the support and love we shared during the year and be thankful towards those who stood by us during difficult times.
- Keep hope alive: The Christmas story is a story of hope. Hope for the future, hope for better times. Keeping hope alive in relationships is important. Relationships work: If both partners are willing to change for the better, to walk that extra mile for their loved ones, to give of oneself. Let us attempt to see beyond the difficult aspects of our partner’s character and work on each other’s strengths. During Christmas time let us take ownership of our relationships and work hard towards making them better.
Anna Catania is a counsellor with Willingness. She has had a special interest in working with clients facing intimacy and sexual difficulties and runs a service for families going through cancer and chronic illness. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.