COLORADO SPRINGS — It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.
Many people go shopping with the family, decorate the Christmas tree together and even put lights up outside ahead of family gatherings.
But the holiday season can also become serious pertaining to domestic violence. The Colorado Springs Police Department told News 5 it generally sees a spike in domestic violence calls this time of year.
"Anecdotally, we do see an increase in domestic violence during these holiday seasons. A lot of times, we predicate that upon the idea there's just a lot more family members together. There's just a lot more of that angst. It can be a very difficult time of the year," said Lt. Jim Sokolik, public information officer for the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Experts tells News 5 it comes down to stress and trying to manage it.
The commercial boom now driving the holiday season can actually drive a wedge between couples, according to Jaylynne Koch, a clinical program manager at AspenPointe in Colorado Springs.
"One of the number one reasons for fighting and relationship issues is finances, and that's going to really come out in the holidays, where there's lots of demands and there's limited resources," Koch said.
She said couples need to focus on the meaning of the holidays. If conflict arrives, she said people should identify their stressors, then focus on communication to try and alleviate the situation.
"'Were there phrases that I used? Was the way that I was communicating an impact to that situation? What were signs that neither one of us were in a position to have this conversation,'" Koch said.
There are a number of stress-coping mechanisms Koch said people can utilize to de-escalate situations.
The first is focusing on mindfulness. Many of us multi-task and try to get several things done at once. Koch said we need to see the value in doing one thing at a time. For example, when brushing your teeth in the morning, think only about that task. What do you feel? What do you hear?
Koch said exercise and really any general physical activity have been proven to release endorphins, triggering a positive feeling in your body.
Additionally, she said adults could stand to be more playful like the children we once were, whether that's playing card games, board games, video games, etc.