It’s a tale as old as time. For generations, the holidays have put a strain on individual and family relationships. Christmas may be a joyous and festive season but it also triggers depression and anxiety. If your partner is struggling to get through, ask yourself what you can do to show them that you care.

It’s important that you remember the power you hold as a couple. If one of you is feeling down, your significant other is there to comfort you. Use this power to your best advantage and plot how you’ll make it through the holidays together. And don’t forget to schedule time in just for you and each other!

The best you can do is be the best you can be. Acknowledge if you partner is feeling unhappy. While you should never assume you need to get involved in their family conflict, maintain a clear line of support. A partnership is about working as a team. You will make it through the holidays. How well you do it, depends on your relationship and the foundation and expectations you’ve set as a couple.

Family traditions are a major part of Christmas. In-laws expect you to be here, but your family wants you over there. Again, not uncommon and most importantly, not unmanageable. Set clear boundaries for yourselves and keep in mind what will make you both happy. While it’s not suggested to avoid all holiday gatherings, take the time to sit down with your loved one’s family and come to a compromise.

To avoid tension, double up on the cheer. Try out new traditions and fun activities. What’s great about Christmas is that everyone gathers around to enjoy time with each other. Whether or not their family is in the joyful spirit, or remembering past grievances, shouldn’t affect how you enjoy the holiday season.

Seasonal depression is at its peak! It’s no wonder family tensions are high too. We hope you’ll hold on to these tips and make it a holiday you and your partner can smile and look back on. Tis’ the season for-giving; for giving our best, forgiving family, and for giving to our partners. Merry Christmas to all!

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy and is an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Susan Block practices in South Florida

Susan Block is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in marriage, family and individual therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University in 1997 and completed her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2004. Also an active member of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), Susan Block offers Couples Counseling in South Florida, as well as online therapy throughout the state. Click on the link to find out more: