Wednesday, 20 July 2016

From 9 to 5 to 24/7: relationship hacks to ensure the holidays bring you closer together

Did you know that the average couple spends only 150 minutes together each day? This can be roughly broken down into 55 minutes watching television, 30 minutes eating, 24 minutes carrying out housework and 16 minutes on a social life! It’s no surprise then, that relationships can become strained over the holidays when we spend much more time together than we’re used to.

We’ve developed some tips for keeping your relationships positive and productive during the summer, so that by the end of the holidays you’ll be stronger than ever.

Me time

Just because you’re on your holidays doesn’t mean you have to live in each other’s pockets. It’s not selfish to build a bit of ‘you time’ into your holidays – in fact, it’s necessary for us all to nourish our souls so that we can give our best to others. Make sure you give yourself time to be by yourself during your holidays – and encourage your partner to do the same. Take a bath, read a book, listen to some music… Just a short period of time each day doing something you love will be enough for you to really appreciate your time with others.

Mindful minutes

The move from spending a few hours a day together to 24/7 can at times feel a little draining. If this is the case for you, just take a minute to refocus. Bring yourself back into the present so you can appreciate your day and those around you. It’s a really simple exercise. Find yourself a quiet space. Sit down, make yourself comfortable and breathe… In and out, calm and steady. Use all your senses to take in what’s around you. Be aware of how your body feels and how it relaxes with the simple practice of breathing. When the minute is up, take a deep breath and continue on with the day.

Remember the old times

The first few months of a relationship is a special time. Everything is new and exciting – you’re finding out about each other and, quite frankly, you can’t get enough of each other! As relationships age, the excitement may dull a little but it’s replaced by a calmer, deeper appreciation of your partner. Remembering the days when your relationship was blossoming is a great way to inject a spark back and remind each other what brought you the place you’re at. It helps you realise just how lucky you both are to have found each other.

Try something new together

An unpublished study by the University of Chicago found that couples who had fun together, stayed together. So why not use the holidays as an opportunity to try something new: develop a hobby; visit somewhere you’ve never been before or take part in an activity that neither of you have tried before. As relationships develop we have a tendency to fall into routines and distinct roles. By trying something new we are starting from a level playing field – which is a great way to improve communication, support each other and have some fun.

Treat every day as a new day

In life there will be good days and bad days. Holidays are not exempt from this. What we must do, for the sake of our relationships, is make a pact that every day is a new day. Whatever has happened the day before, any issues (as far as possible) should be dealt with then put to one side in order for us to enjoy the rest of our holidays. Carrying resentment, hurt and anger around weighs heavy and makes it difficult to enjoy time spent together.

Remember, holidays are only as good as we make them and with effort, determination and positivity they can be really good for our personal relationships, bringing us closer together than ever before.

Be kind; be tolerant; be flexible – and enjoy your summer, together.

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