This one simple thing will give all of your relationships some TLC this Valentine's Day
Let’s face it. Sometimes as cheesy as Valentine’s Day is, it can be a reminder to think of those relationships you care about, right? (Disclaimer: My husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I feel weird ignoring it when the whole country is talking about it!) So let’s say you need to work on things with your sweet, your person, your boo, whatever word you use…I’ve got at least an idea that doesn’t play into the Hallmark craziness and can last all year…AND costs very little. Boom, how about that for a win?!
When you think of giving your marriage a little CPR, you may think of a weekend away or more date nights or even some couples counseling! And nothin’ wrong with any of these! But they all take time and a considerable amount of money, not to mention the task of figuring out who’ll care for your children while you two are gone.
These are all worth the investment but what if I told you there was a simple thing you could do that costs about 5 bucks and only takes a minute of your time each day? And that this one thing could give you and your spouse a little playful, tender resuscitation when it’s possible life has become all about the “to-do’s” and business of getting your family what they need? Wouldn’t you take a chance on it?
Take it from me, it’s worth your time and attention because if you two aren’t doing well, then YOU aren’t doing well and moreover, your family doesn’t do well. And it’s just plain depressing to not be feeling the good juicy vibes for someone you love, right?
So take a peek and transform your day (you can thank me later!)
This one little thing just takes a visit to your local arts and crafts store. There, you’ll find a mini chalkboard of your choosing. And on that chalkboard, I want you to write something like…
“I love you because….”
“I am grateful for you…”
“Why you make me smile…”
Whatever prompt works for you. I even change mine up a bit every now and then. But the prompt is important because it keeps this little exchange focused on gratitude for the other person, reminds you to fill in the blank and makes this exercise totally easy to do.
I put ours in our bathroom. That way, it’s our own sweet thing for the two of us to see. It’s there first thing in the morning. It’s what I see before I go to bed. My husband and I fill in the blank for each other. We very well may see it without the other knowing because our schedules are so different at times. But we carry that sweet piece of gratitude all day. And believe me, carrying that is so much lighter and easier than the weight of stress and worry about why we’re not connecting.
And it goes both ways.
It feels so so sweet to read a little piece of tender gratitude. But it feels just as good to write one for someone else. It’s like leaving someone the best little surprise ever, you know that excitement you get when you leave a surprise gift? It’s an endorphin rush that helps the doer as much as the receiver. We recently fell off our habit and I felt it, big time. But that’s ok too. That’s the beauty. You can pick it up again, anytime.
And just like that, we have a little old-fashioned love message board. I will even show you mine and the last thing I wrote…
Now, I prefaced this as the perfect first aid for a marriage and I think it is. But I have some other ways that it works magical medicine!
For your kids…yep, they need to hear love often, all the ways you’re grateful for them. Because otherwise, they could be disproportionately hearing all the things they’re doing wrong. Our brains love to look for that. You know how you remember the one bad thing that happened all day more than the small good ones? Yep, that’s our brain playing tricks on us. And it’s good to disrupt that as often as possible.
And, probably the most important one…
For yourself! Yep, for yourself.
Let’s face it people.
Without self-love, we cannot love fully.
Without self-compassion, we are not whole.
Without appreciation for who we are and what we bring to the world, we limit what the world gets from us.
And our minds are noisy, noisy places of bad things we say to ourselves. This one small exercise can help add to the good. And think about it, you get the joy of writing it and you are the one reading it about yourself.
It’s DOUBLE goodness!
So, think about it. A board that says something like,
“Why I’m grateful for myself (or you)…”
“Why I appreciate myself…”
“Why I have compassion for myself…”
You get the idea, right?
My point is we can celebrate our triumphs, our failures (which are the seeds of our future success), our highs and lows. In short, we need to celebrate ourselves.
So, what do ya’ think? Time for a board in your house? For your partner, for your family, for yourself? It may be the best thing you do today to rejuvenate a relationship you care about. And best of all, rejuvenate your own heart…