A lot of good habits can suffer during stressful times. Some people overeat, workout routines fall off the map, sleep is often affected. Sex is another piece of the relationship puzzle that gets put on the back burner when stress hits the fan. Here are a few tips for how to avoid the sexless marriage trap and keep that lovin’ feeling alive even when stress, including holiday stress takes a hold on your life and relationship…
1. Sleep Naked. Forego the holiday themed, fuzzy footy Pj’s and go to bed in your birthday suit. Couples who sleep naked have more sex. Sleeping naked removes one small barrier to getting busy. In addition, physical touch and close contact increase oxytocin, the love hormone. Climbing into the sheets naked will encourage you to get closer to warm up on cold winter nights. Who knows you might get lucky!
3. Keep your bedroom a sanctuary. When it comes to your bedroom, don’t dismiss the power of setting the mood. Too often the clutter of stressful times builds up in your bedroom. Laundry piling up, work to do, stacks of bills, papers or books waiting to be read, shopping bags full of gifts to be wrapped all contribute to the mental clutter aka intimacy killer. Take some time to de-clutter your bedroom, take the tv out (or at least cover it up or put in in a cabinet) Letting the world in via television and devices can squeeze out special moments to connect with your spouse. Take the stacks of paper out, go through them if you can, if you can’t just put them somewhere else! The last and probably most difficult task in the bedroom is to GET RID OF THE SMARTPHONE!! A recent article cited the statistic that “70 percent of women in a recent survey said smartphones were interfering in their romantic relationship.” Now certainly you don’t need to get rid of it all together, just leave it out of the bedroom!
The holiday season and particularly Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to take stock in your marriage. These few weeks from Thanksgiving to New Years can get really crazy, it’s also a wonderful time to cultivate gratitude in your marriage and make sure your relationship is getting a piece of the pie! Gratitude is more than just being thankful for something you have. It is a state of being that can bring more love, positivity and peace and health into your life. Gratitude is an intentional act, gratitude in your marriage as in all things opens the door to deeper and more fulfilling relationship and holiday season.
Gratitude is the antidote to desire. How is it that as a culture we have created the story that Thursday is the day to slow down, celebrate all that we already have and experience gratitude. Then comes black Friday where we are encouraged to hurry up, get to the store and compete with each other to satisfy our never ending need for things. Cultivating true gratitude will alleviate the need for the latest, greatest, cheapest goods and will allow love, respect and joy to be elevated in your marriage and beyond.
“Why are they all so stressed out?” he wanted to know.
The article does a great job of explaining why.
What is missing is the piece of what you can do to foster resilience in your children. It may be little surprise that my first answers is . . .build a happy, healthy marriage. In other words, model great relationships with a passion for life to your kids.
After that, here are a few other tips.
Demand that your children pursue passions instead of trying to impress college admissions officers. Seriously, even in high school, it’s more helpful to talk with your child about finding things that they love to do and doing them than about building a well-rounded application. This way, when your child gets into an appropriate-for-them school, they’ll have things they love doing to help them stay solidly on their feet.
Model a healthy lifestyle and help your child build one too. Find fun ways to make exercise part of your routine. Replace screen-time with face-to-face time. Cook healthy food together. Building routines like these will cultivate a life-rhythm that is resilient in the face of stress.
Share stressful news and finances on an as-needed and as-appropriate basis. Your twelve year old probably does not need to know that it was a struggle to pay the mortgage this month. Sharing these details is likely to cultivate a general tendency to feel stress and anxiety, when it’s more appropriate to be helping her learn to take tests at school without panicking. At the same time, a child heading to college does need to have you talk through a rock-solid financial plan for how they will handle their portion of any loans. Likewise, direct information about how you will be helping and not-helping to finance their education is critical.
Eat dinners together. Having regular, real family time is one of the best ways to make sure your kids feel supported. Then hopefully, they’ll call you when college is just feeling like too much, instead of swimming alone in a pool of stress.