By Dr. Kate Naumes, ND
As you come down off your Valentine’s Day high this week, let’s talk about a few ways to consistently cultivate and strengthen your relationship with your spouse. If you happen to have a marriage like mine, nothing works better for us than turning on music – our favorite right now is some nights by fun! – and dancing for 5 minutes. We’ve also appreciated the benefits of creating a family mission statement.
Here are some other ideas you might implement to improve your health, happiness, and stress levels for years to come:
- Put a regular date night on the calendar. This is a great time for regularly scheduled grandparent/grandchild time if you have family in town. If not, start a date-night co-op and take turns watching your friends’ kids.
- Practice Deep Breathing together. This suggestion might strike some as silly, but you don’t have to be a Zen Buddhist to take advantage of the effects of laying beside each other in the 10 minutes before you fall asleep to take increasingly long, slow, deep breaths together. You’ll be amazed at how hard it is to have a stressful bedtime conversation after doing this with your partner.
- Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Of course, none of the above will bear any fruit if underlying bitterness pervades. I love my sister-in-law’s attitude. Speaking about her happy marriage she told me recently, “When annoyance, frustration, anger, or bitterness start to flare, we try to make a discipline of considering first that this person is the one I chose, for a great many incredible qualities, who is probably not actively trying to make my life miserable!”
Enjoy an impromptu dance with your family tonight once the workday is over and put that date night on the calendar. Your body will appreciate it after last week’s (preferably dark) chocolate.
Dr. Kate Naumes, ND runs a Holistic Wellness practice in uptown. She provides pre-conception and fertility counseling, newborn and pediatric wellness education, as well as ongoing well-woman support. Learn more at naumesnd.com.