Stress reliefWe've talked before about the toll that stress can take on your marriage. Now, we'll look at some ways to relieve stress to improve your marriage.

Mind your basic needs
Are you so busy that you neglect the fundamentals of self-care? If you skip meals, skimp on sleep and fail to drink enough water, you'll feel pretty lousy, and that affects your marriage (and your career, your parenting and on and on). Move these healthy habits higher on your priority list. Even 30 extra minutes of sleep can do wonders to ease stress!

Ease up on yourself
We can only do so much. Limits are nothing to be ashamed of; they are simply a reality of our existence. Constantly pushing past our limits makes us more vulnerable to relationship problems, illnesses, obesity, and addiction. What can you take off your plate? Do you have any perfectionist standards that you can relax? Taking steps to lower the demands on you will open up space to help your marriage thrive.

Balance marriage and parenting
A strong marriage buffers stress and protects your emotional well-being. But for most couples, there is simply less time to spend together after becoming parents, and we lose some of the stress-relieving benefits of this intimate bond. If you never prioritize your marriage, you put it at risk --and that is not good for you or your children. Even if it is brief at first, schedule time alone with your husband to keep your relationship vibrant.

Nurture your support system
Did you know that the average U.S  adult has only two people they can talk to about the most important things in their life, and one of them is probably their spouse? That's too much pressure to put on your marriage. It’s easy to neglect our relationships with friends and family amid the busyness of daily life, but we need them. Do something to reach out this week. Is there a friend you haven’t talked with in a while? Give her a call.

Remember that even when we feel boxed in by daily demands, we can still make choices that start to ease the pressure and simplify our lives. Lowering overall stress is a process that can take some time, but will ultimately yield rich payoffs in your marriage and beyond.