Relationships Advent Calendar Day 24 . Find Your Airlock

I’m assuming most people are going to 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 will still be at work .. and it’s tricky to move instantly from that ‘doing’ state of mind to the ‘feeling’ one we value at home .. so today take 5 minutes to work out what helps you make that transition, maybe 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, or a 5 minute stretch ..

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 a big kiss, and some time to decompress when they get home ..

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Relationships Advent Calendar Day 23 . Make an Inventory

So as we know from the kids’ school show Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census .. and today, because advent is a time for taking stock, 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 today and watch that list grow .. it feels good to know you’re not dependent 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 Yourselves

I’m thinking you’re probably right in the middle of the Christmas whirl right now, school holidays, treats, 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 .. and 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? Your wedding? 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, kazoo etc 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

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

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

Christmas and New Year is 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 do your best to do the same for them in your turn in the coming year ..

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

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