Permission to break with tradition: Give each other permission to take time for yourselves and each other. Be open to creating new experiences and breaking the predictable patterns of what you’ve always done around the holidays. Take a short get-away, give each other massages, and spend more relaxed time together.
Communicate your needs: Take turns sharing your vision of the holiday season. Listen to each other with non-judgment, acceptance and respect and without interruption. Create an atmosphere of safety where each of you are able to be vulnerable and speak from your heart what your needs and desires truly are at this time of year.
Be spontaneous and playful: Let go of expectations as they are unspoken assumptions that break the flow of creativity. Be open to trying something new together such as dancing lessons, cooking together or something you’ve always wanted to do. Play with joyful abandon.
Practice healthy detachment: Patterns surface especially during the holidays because they so fraught with expectations. Blame, attack or defensiveness signal that a pattern has emerged. Practice pausing when you react, stepping back from the situation and asking yourself: Why am reacting to this person or situation? What is going on with me that I need to shift? Instead of taking another person’s reaction personally, stay detached by not trying to fix their problem, work out their issues, and remind them that you love them and are hear for them.
Keep a sense of humor: Be light-hearted in every situation no matter how difficult. Laugh when you overcook the turkey, break a favorite decoration or forget to buy a gift. Take yourself less seriously and keep interactions or plans short with people who may drain your energies. Remember you don’t have to change them but you may choose to spend less time with them and more time with yourself and your partner.