Have Fun and Celebrate
I’m limiting fun here to actions that are high energy, physical, and end up in a belly laugh. My experience is that we tend to do this more with our kids, but not so much with our partners. It is easier to play fight, wrestle, have water balloon fights, or tickle our kids, but do we belly laugh with our partner?
When I was doing the workshops, I divided this exercise into two parts: high-energy and low-energy fun activities. Low-energy activities would include things like watching a movie together or going for a walk or bike ride which are great things to do, but there is a different energy when you are belly laughing with your partner. Psychologists all tell us the benefits of laughing – it sends different hormones into our system and decreases stress levels, as well as all kinds of other good things. I tend to take things way too seriously so I am lucky that my partner is a laugher. It helps me lighten up. Crystal has a great podcast on her website Journey to Inner Wisdom with a Laughter Yoga practitioner – great insights into the benefits of laughing.
Celebrating and Having Fun
Celebration is also a great way to connect not only with your partner but with friends and family. Most of us will have some kind of family celebration during this holiday season. My encouragement would be to celebrate often – not just birthdays and holidays but any time something special happens in your family. Celebrate it – enjoy it and have fun.
Again my wife has helped me stretch in this department immensely. We have celebrated all kinds of things – the start of school, end of school, snow days, good report cards, not-so-good report cards – you get the idea. Any excuse for a celebration – you can start your own traditions. The celebration I remember especially was shortly after we returned from Zambia, a friend of ours from Zambia was diagnosed with bilharzia – a severe disease caused by parasites – from which she almost died. When she returned home we had a great celebration including large posters of parasitic flatworms.
Relationship Tip 7
For the rest of the 12 days of Christmas do some activity every day with your partner where you both end up really laughing. Ho-ho-ho.