Once the hamster wheel of the thing we call life finally slows down, it’s tempting to collapse in a heap and mentally hibernate till spring is over. But once the house is in order and the kids return to school after spring break, consider taking advantage of the quiet and turn your focus to recharging your relationship with your partner. By spending quality time together now you set a new direction for your relationship and a precedent for the rest of the year—and the many years—ahead.
Accordingly, we’ve put together a few tips to help revitalize your romance and mutual support in 2017.
Take Your Time
The frenetic pace of life—often we need a reminder that there’s suddenly room to breathe. Before undertaking a new approach to your partnership, get rid of any residual stress and mental clutter that could get between the two of you. To clear your head and reset your body to a slower pace, start the week with a favorite form of relaxation, whether it’s a brisk walk in the cold, a warm bath with candles, a yoga class or a good book. Remember to breathe. A clean slate will make lots of room for you to focus on your relationship.
Make Some Resolutions Together
What habits have you developed that take precious time away from the two of you? Now is the time to consider correcting or amending them. For example, do you tend to eat in front of the TV more than you know is good for you? Resolve to set a nice table, turn on some dinner music, and eat in the kitchen or dining room together a couple of times a week. On other nights, set the coffee table with candles and nice napkins and watch a new movie that you both want to see, rather than the same-old sitcoms or sports games.
As overextended as you both might be, take advantage of babysitters, friends or family to watch the kids whenever possible so you can get in a romantic night out or even just a walk together on a snowy Sunday. Most importantly, take care to really listen to your partner when they’re talking. It can be so tempting to multitask with a text conversation, but direct, uncompromised attention is the best way to build and maintain a healthy relationship.
The bedroom is supposed to be a sanctuary devoted to love and sleep, but because it’s easy to shut the door and walk away during the day, many of us tend to use it as a dumping ground. Now’s the time to clear out clutter and anything that might detract from your focus on your partner at the end of the day. Clear odds and ends (including any books and magazines that, let’s face it, you’re never going to read) from the nightstands, get rid of old clothes and any other stuff hanging around that doesn’t need to be there.
If your bedroom could also use recharge, think about some new bedding, curtains or bedside lamps to revitalize the space. Speaking of lamps, make sure yours have bulbs that emit a nice glow rather than any kind of harsh light. If candles or music put you in a romantic mood, then find a place for them in the bedroom, by all means. Most importantly, put away your devices and try to keep that TV off at the end of the day!
If there’s a common thread to the above suggestions it’s attention. Simply being conscious of doing things together rather than on auto-pilot creates a sense of inclusion and mutual regard in your relationship that will set a tone not just for the now, but for the entirety of your lives together.