Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 5 . The Body Knows the Score

Touch is so important in feeling connected, holding hands, being close, a hug .. this year has been so hard as we haven’t been able to show our affection through hugging and being around each other.

Many people also don’t have the opportunity to touch, people who live alone, maybe working from home at the moment. Studies show that when residents of care homes have affectionate consensual physical contact they report greater wellbeing.

So today how about showing someone you love them by sending a virtual hug, something to snuggle or if you can by using touch to show you care. You can even do this for yourself by wrapping yourself up in a lovely warm blanket and giving yourself a hug.

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 4 . Go Deeper

Maybe you text your friends, colleagues and family all the time, but how many of those messages are about your relationship. Using all the opportunities to communicate our appreciation is vital in order to stay connected in the face of the challenges that we face each day.

Text someone to let them know you appreciate the relationship, even if it’s just from the shed or the office next door!

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 3 . With Compliments

It’s lovely to hear something nice about ourselves .. and how much nicer when it’s coming from someone we love. Find a reason to compliment someone in your life today, whether it’s how they look, what they do or how they do it.

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 2 . The Gift of Gratitude

Sharing gratitude is so important in our relationships and it’s such a shame that it so often gets lost in the busyness of our everyday lives. Stop and think how you might feel if someone thanked you for something you do every day at work for example .. now .. does it feel good?

Your challenge is to give someone in your life the gift of gratitude today .. Thank them for something they do for you today, or simply for being who they are.

Notice the difference that one small action makes, and consider making gratitude a bigger part of your relationships.

#adventcalendar #adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 1 . Forgive for yourself

Happy December .. and welcome to the first day of this challenge that we’ll be carrying out together in the days leading up to Christmas!!

Today is about preparing the ground for the month ahead.

Holding on to hurt from the past can prevent us from enjoying our present .. so today take some time to think about someone who hurt you in the past, breathe deeply and send them forgiveness for 5 straight minutes.

Forgiveness is a funny thing, ideally it takes remorse and taking responsibility from the person who hurt us as well as the willingness to let go on our side.

Sometimes though the other person either won’t, or maybe can’t ask for forgiveness if they’re no longer in our lives .. this exercise isn’t for them, it’s for us to be able to let go of that hurt just a little bit more ..

#adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

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Pandemic-proof your relationships

“Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace.” – Edward Hays

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Those who know me also know I love a good challenge, and at this time of year I usually post a daily challenge for couples to reconnect and nurture their relationships.

2020 has been a hell of a year though, so I’ve decided to widen this year’s challenge to include all our relationships. Like it or not we exist in relationship to others, at home, locally, nationally and internationally, and when we take time to approach these relationships with intention we can find great healing and joy.

December is a great time to take stock of our relationships, and to make sure loving each other is part of the run up to Christmas. Those of you who read my posts regularly will know I’m a firm believer in the power of small sustained actions to build and sustain loving relationships.

So I invite you to follow my new and improved Relationship Advent Calendar Challenge, a great way to build acts of love into each day from December 1st, as my seasonal gift to you.

So, what’s a “Relationship Advent Calendar?

A lot of advent calendars are about getting, but this one’s all about giving, because in our relationships we give to receive. Every day in December until Christmas, I’ll reveal a new action to build and sustain your relationship with others and your world.

Subscribe to the blog, follow me on Twitter or Facebook and & get 25 acts of love delivered to your inbox each day, starting on December 1!

I’ll be doing all of these right along with you .. I’d love to hear how you get on ..

#adventchallenge #relationships #wellbeing

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Are you excited about this advent project? Get in touch using the Comments box below or my Contacts details to the right of your screen .. happy adventing!

Merry Christmas to you!!

Thank you for being part of this year’s Relationships Advent Calendar, I hope you’ve had as much fun joining in the fun as I’ve had creating it ..

I’ve been inspired along the way by the penguins at noomi, whose Kindness Advent Calendar I follow every year, so check that out too.

And today of course is a day for family so I’m off to spend a peaceful day with mine .. wishing you a love-filled day close to your special ones, whoever they are ..

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 24 . Find Your Airlock

Many people will be slap bang in the middle of the last day of holiday preparation today .. last minute cards to drop off, ticking items off your to do list, some of you will still be at work .. and it’s tricky to move instantly from that ‘doing’ state of mind to the ‘being’ and ‘feeling’ one we value more at home .. so today take 5 minutes to work out what helps you make that transition .. maybe for you that’s a shower when you get home, a run, a 10 minute sit down with a cup of something calming after the kids are in bed, a minute of mindful breathing or a 5 minute stretch ..

One Mindful Minute
* To prepare breathe normally while counting your breaths for one minute
* Once you know how many breaths you take in a minute sit somewhere comfortable where you won’t be disturbed
* Close your eyes
* Concentrate on the breath entering and exiting your body while counting each breath
* When you reach the number of breaths you usually take in a minute, open your eyes, come back into the room and give thanks for this moment of peace

When you’ve found your ‘airlock’ don’t forget your sweetie .. instead of passing them the baby as soon as they walk in the door because you’re tired (and covered in dried baby rice) give them the gift of a big kiss, and some time of their own to decompress ..

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 23 . Make an Inventory

So as we know from the kids’ nativity Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census .. and today I’d like you to start a mental tally chart of the good things in your life, and how many are possible because of the love and support of your partner.

Keep adding whenever you think of one and watch that list grow .. find a beautiful notebook and start a gratitude journal if that’s how you roll .. notice how it feels to know you’re not dependent on or independent of each other .. but inter-dependent, two people who support and appreciate each other.

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 22 . Give of Yourself

You’re probably right in the middle of the Christmas whirl right now, school shows, parties, and all that wrapping ahead of you!! But don’t forget there are other ways to give at Christmas, and couples who are altruistic can often be more satisfied in their couple relationship, plus it’s an opportunity to spend time together .. what’s to lose?!

So take some time out of your busy schedule, switch off the TV and talk with your sweetie about how you’d both like to give back in the coming year .. if time’s an issue but you’re cash rich how about setting up a monthly direct debit from your joint account to a charity you decide on together?

Or volunteer as a couple for a project, cleaning up your local beach or park, helping out with the National Trust (you can actually get free membership for being a volunteer) .. the possibilities are endless .. you get to keep the warm Christmas glow for the whole year!!!

And for those of you yet to meet your sweetie, what a great opportunity to meet like-minded people!

What did you do, let me know in the Comments below, or tweet me!

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