Bah Humbug! How Holiday Stress Impacts Your Sex Life
We all love the holidays – the songs, the food, the gifts, and decorations…it’s like being a kid again! Except, as you become an adult, you realize that more and more of the above fall only happen when you have put in a whole lot of effort. Baking, arranging dinners, digging out decorations, braving the mall crowds while ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ plays for the 50 millionth time – all these can do more to ruin your holiday mood than enhance it.
Even if you get a chance to sit by the fire for some mulled wine and mistletoe, it’s possible that the stress of the holidays has already gone and ruined your seasonal sex life – so what can you do?
Go Easy on the Holiday Spirits
As much holiday parties that you attend (and stress over ones you’re hosting) make it easier than ever to over indulge on eggnog or mulled wine, getting a buzz on doesn’t spell as much sexy success as you’d first assume. Enough alcohol will make you more numb to sensations, and dehydration can lead to issues with lubrication.
If your partner is a guy and has managed to avoid alcohol-related erectile unpredictability, the extra sugar in holiday cocktails is more likely to have you both waking up with a headache, in no mood at all to bake cookies or wrap presents.
Our favorite mocktail for making merry is a mix of cranberry juice and ginger ale – with a squeeze of lemon and sparkling water to cut the sweetness as you need!
Embrace that Snuggly Feeling
If you’ve been indulging in delicious drinks and even yummier food for the holidays, it’s possible that you aren’t feeling your fittest – and stress has its hand in that as well, with hormones associated with it negatively impacting our metabolism.
While being bloated at a time of year where we need to fit ourselves into fancy office Christmas party-wear doesn’t usually make us so excited to strip down and jump into bed with our partner, it’s important to give yourself a break.
Firstly, there is a very good chance that absolutely no one has noticed what you consider to be a catastrophic change – they’re probably too focused on their own perceived extra jolliness.
Secondly, even if they have, who cares?! It’s a time of year when you can wear festive pjs all days and get cuddly with your loved ones to watch Christmas specials – everyone is so blissed out on holiday spirit, no one is thinking about extra pounds here or there, so there’s no reason for your confidence to be shaken. And, there are plenty of other tips and tricks to keep the passion on track during the holidays (if not throughout the year!).
Make Passion a Priority
If your to-do list has a million things on it, being intimate is probably numbered one million and one – which is fair, everyone is busy during the holidays!
However, a little alone time with your partner can be an excellent stress-reliever, so it’s worth making sure you schedule in a bit of morning lie in to reconnect, or a night where you simply can’t stay out at your cousin Tracy’s past 9, because you have so much to do at home. Even if it’s just a kiss, cuddle and chat, it’ll make a world of difference!
Take a Breather!
As important as taking the time for just-the-two-of-you connecting is, you should also prioritize your own mental wellbeing on your own! And well, yes, that can mean masturbation – it has excellent stress-busting abilities too! – there are other ways to make sure you’re giving your body boosts of happy brain chemicals.
Breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, even 20 minutes of uninterrupted guilty-pleasure TV with no phones allowed can all help you re-center, and make sure you’re ready to tackle anything Christmas and New Years have to throw at you!
Colleen began her sexual wellness career as a sex toy educator in manufacturing and retail. She has since branched out as a writer and marketer, covering all facets of sexual health and anatomy. At Intimina, she specializes in women’s medical care and health concerns, menstruation, sex and pregnancy, and birth control. Colleen frequently confers with top sex educators and intimate wellness experts to stay on top of the constantly changing sexual wellness space.