The Relationship Wizard: Relationship Detox
I came across this article in ALIVE Canada’s Natural Health and Wellness Magazine, March 2021. The Covid 19 Pandemic has understandably put a huge strain on many couples – homeschooling, working from home, financial pressures, and being deprived of what historically we have taken for granted – meeting friends for coffee, going out for dinner, or travelling. This is the reality for all of us.
The challenge as I see it is: “It is not what you possess but how you use it.” Again I use the example of Terry Fox, the young Canadian who lost a leg to cancer, yet attempted to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Another young person could suffer the same fate, and handle it quite differently. So with all of us. We can’t change what is going on re: the pandemic, but how we respond to it, we do have more control over.
The article, by Amy Green Ph.D., encourages us to take stock of our relationship and focus on what we (not our partner) can each do to make it better. Pay attention to the big 3 she says a healthy diet, daily exercise, and enough sleep. When I taught stress management at the college, we used the acronym REDS to do the self-check-in: Rest, Exercise, Diet, and we added a fourth one Spirituality. The spirituality piece didn’t necessarily have to be anything religious – although it could be praying, or going to church, or meditating, but it was more along the lines of “What are you doing to take care of yourself?” This could include listening to music, going for a walk, reading, exercising, yoga, etc.
Green goes on: START SMALL TO RECONNECT. “Luckily detoxing a relationship’s bad habits doesn’t require expensive dinners or fancy holidays. In fact, researchers at Penn State University found that small actions – such as holding hands and regular acts of kindness – topped the list for how people feel loved.”
Detox: Some simple ways to give your relationship a reboot:
Make time to (really) talk
Schedule connection time each day
The six-second kiss prescription
Try something new
Take things outdoors
Seek support if you feel you need to
And finally, don’t wait to reach out until the wheels completely fall off.
We still have a ways to go in this pandemic. The challenge for all of us is: “It is not what we possess but how are we going to use it?”