Combating Holiday Stress with Love


The holidays can be a stressful time with distractions from shopping, traveling and eating. A good way of combating the holiday stress is by focusing on loved ones, and communicating how much they mean to you.

Saying “I love you” isn’t easy for everyone, but that’s okay. There are many ways to show your love both verbal and non-verbal. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Five Love Languages”, there are five different ways with which people prefer to give and receive love.

  1. Affirming Words

    This love language uses words as the primary tool to show how much you care, and it goes far beyond saying “I love you.” It extends to giving compliments (“That new hairstyle looks great on you.”), expressing gratitude (“Thanks for doing the grocery shopping when I was so busy.”), giving reassurance (“I’ll always be here for you.”), and acknowledging mistakes (“I’m so sorry for making you feel bad.”)

  1. Performing Acts of Service

    The love language of Acts of Service involves doing things for your loved ones as a way to articulate your feelings. These things can be simple errands like picking up the groceries on your way home from work or favors like cooking their favorite meal. Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is your actions should provide comfort to your loved ones.

  1. Giving Gifts

    The gifts don’t have to be expensive, and there doesn’t have to be an occasion. More often than not, the gifts are symbols of your love and a way of letting your loved ones know they’re on your mind. It can be a trinket that reminds you of an inside joke with them or a balloon in the shape of an animal they find cute. Even the littlest gifts matter.

  1. Spending Quality Time

    If this is your love language you’ll want to spend time with your loved ones to make them feel important in your life. It’s as simple as asking how their day went and actually listening to them talk. It can also be shared experiences, like traveling to a new destination. It doesn’t really matter what you and your loved ones do, as long as you’re in it together.

  1. Touching

    Show your loved ones affection through physical touch. Although this includes intimacy for romantic partners, it’s not solely just about that. Holding hands, leaning your head on their shoulder, kissing them on the forehead, engulfing them in a warm hug, giving them a foot massage – these are all ways to let your loved one know how much they mean to you.

  2. Love is a beautiful thing, and it’s made even more beautiful by the variety of love languages. So don’t worry if saying “I love you” upfront isn’t an easy thing to do for you. You can always find another way to show it, and your loved ones will know what you’ve been meaning to say.