Time Spent With Family During the Holidays Should Not Be Stressful

Dec 17, 2010, 07:45 ET from California Healthy Marriages Coalition

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Relationships can become strained and stressful during the holidays. Demanding schedules, financial hardships, and family issues can all get in the way of a happy holiday season. California Healthy Marriages Coalition (CHMC) would like to urge couples and individuals to embrace positive communications skills and turn the excess time spent with family and spouses in to an opportunity for deeper connection.

"We have seen it often, couples experience massive amounts of pressure around the holidays. If not handled healthily, this can result in permanent damage to the relationship and 'holiday blues.' There are a few practical steps people can take to strengthen their marriage and relationships and bond with their family," states CHMC Vice President, Patty Howell.

Here are a few relationship skills that will help you communicate effectively during the holidays:

  • Only talk about serious issues when it is appropriate for everyone involved in the conversation. Go so far as to ask the other person, "Is now a good time?" before bringing up anything serious.
  • When communicating, make sure the other person feels heard. Give them your full attention, do not interrupt, and let them speak until they are finished.
  • When speaking, use "I" statements and avoid blaming, exaggerating, and generalizing.
  • Find a specific solution that is good for you both and follow through on the decision.

To learn more and start the New Year off right, sign up for a marriage and relationship skills class or workshop. A statewide clearinghouse of Relationship and Marriage Education classes is available at www.CaMarriage.com.

CHMC is the recipient of the Federal government's largest Healthy Marriage grant receiving $2.4 Million in funding for each of the past five years. CHMC--a division of Healthy Relationships California--has taught proven relationship-building skills to more than 65,000 Californians. 

SOURCE California Healthy Marriages Coalition