De-stressing for couples
It's no secret: The holidays are probably one of the most stressful times of the year. From going in and out of malls where crazy shoppers run amok to planning family dinners - which are intimidating enough for those who have in-laws - couples need to de-stress more than ever. You can do it together or do it separately. But whatever you decide, for heaven's sakes, try to relax! Not sure how? Read on for our de-stressing tips for couples...
Divvy up the work
From fulfilling what's on the holiday gift list to preparing food for the family, it's important that you and your honey split up the roles. Failing to do your part will make the other one disgruntled. The last thing you want is an argument during the cheery holiday season. Derail any love spats by making lists that define who's responsible for what. And keep things as even as possible. If you and your beau are still in the beginning stages of your relationship, you're in luck. Instead of divvying up tasks, try to divvy up where you go, when and how often. Fairness is key.
Take a bubble bath
Splash around and play with bubbles alone or together. Prepare a bath for yourself and/or your beau — if that doesn't bring on the holiday cheer, we don't know what else will. We particularly love the Naughty Bubbles Bubble Bath for $10. To make the bath experience even more relaxing, light some candles, drop in some bath oils or use aromatherapy. Studies show that scents like lavender and eucalyptus soothe the mind, body and soul.
Give each other relaxing massages
Odds are, money will be a little tight during the holiday season, so you and your hubby should probably stay away from luxurious spas. But who says you can't bring the spa experience into your home? Get the Aromofloria Less Massage Oil ($16 at Target.com), and give your man a rub down at the end of a long day. After he puts up the holiday lights outside, he'll be grateful for a tension release.
The physical benefits of sex are tremendous. Not only is it a form of exercise — hey, it beats going to the gym! — it's also known to relieve stress. Doing so also lowers blood pressure, which means results in less anxiety. Researchers from Scotland, in fact, reported the following findings in the Biological Psychology journal: After studying the sexual activity of 24 women and 22 men, they found those who had intercourse were more relaxed during stressful situations. Frequent intercourse is also associated with lower diastolic blood pressure.
Keep your distance
Although time together during the holidays is fun, some time alone can be beneficial, too. If your partner is around when things get harried, you'll likely take things out on him. When you're most stressed, take some time and do your thing alone. That way, you won't get mad at each other for no reason.