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 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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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 21 . Turn up the Volume

Nothing brings back memories quite like music .. what’s ‘your’ song?

What was playing on your first date?

At your wedding?

On your first Christmas as a family?

For most of us there’s a special feeling associated with these tunes ..

So today your task is to find the song or songs that bring back these special memories and share with your sweetie .. have it playing when they walk in from work, call the local radio station and ask them to do a dedication, email a YouTube clip or post it on their Facebook wall .. or, if you have one, play it on your guitar, piano or kazoo the next time you see them ..

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

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 20 . Switch on your Relationship Radar

You’ve just spent 19 days doing something every day for the benefit of your relationship .. notice a difference yet?

So now you’re a super honed relationship athlete in tip top condition it’s time to start looking for opportunities to flex those muscles ..

Keep your eyes and ears open for the many small opportunities that come up today to make a difference, and see how many you take .. send me your scores by commenting on this post, or on Twitter or Facebook if you prefer .. a relationship Christmas star for the winner!

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 19 . Admit When You’re Wrong

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This post follows on from yesterday’s, where I dared to suggest you just might be wrong sometimes (surely not!?) .. relationships thrive where both partners can give a little ground sometimes, and let’s face it, who doesn’t like to be right?

Today your task is to find something your sweetie is right about, give them a big beaming smile and let them know, with grace and love ..

Some of the most powerful words in your relationship may well be “Yes, you’re right.”

Afterwards spend some time thinking about how easy or difficult it was to do that, and how your partner reacted .. what did you learn?

Relationships Advent Calendar Day 18 . Who’s in your Corner?

Christmas and New Year is traditionally a time for partying and family, and also a time for reflection and taking stock, making plans and starting afresh ..

Today take some time to think about which of your friends and family support you in your relationship: who listens to you without judgement when you need to talk; who refuses to take sides; and who’s not afraid to tell you gently when you might just (gulp) be in the wrong .. cultivate these people and pledge to do the same for them in your turn ..

It takes two to make love, and a whole community to keep the flame alive ..

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 14 . Fix it!

Healthy couple relationships don’t happen by accident, they’re the result of both partners putting time and attention into what feeds the relationship each day, like making small deposits into a bank account that we can draw on when we need it.

Today I invite you to pay into your relationship bank account by finding something to fix around the home. Especially things that would make a difference to your loved ones.

Maybe you could hang a picture that’s been leaning up against the wall for a year; sew those pesky trouser hems up; back up your spouse’s computer; oil that squeaky door or check your honey’s car is all ready for the cold weather, with de-icer, screenwash, a shovel, snacks, water and an extra warm blanket in case of getting stuck in a traffic jam.

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 11 . Be Kind to our World

Keeping a healthy sense of perspective is really important in maintaining our wellbeing.

Today, how about thinking how you can widen your focus and do something to give back to this beautiful world we live in .. pick up litter that you spot in the street, pop some money in a charity collecting tin or bag up some unwanted possessions in good condition for your local charity shop, save energy by having a short shower (after that yummy long bath you had yesterday), turn the lights off and have an early night with your sweetie ..

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Relationships Advent Calendar . Day 7 . Surprise Surprise

It’s good to be shifted out of our routines .. when you first met you’ll have talked and laughed and tried new things together, but once the relationship matures it’s easy to do the same things day to day. Research shows doing new things together stimulates us to feel affection and encourages us to communicate more.

So surprise your sweetie today .. with breakfast in bed, do a chore for them, a surprise gift, a special night out/in ..