This morning a posting titled 6 Surefire Ways to Stay Happy This Winter popped up. It stated that “In the dregs of winter it’s easy to get down. So we (Real Beauty) reached out to Keri Glassman, nutritionist and author of The New You and Improved Diet, for some tips on how to keep those blues at bay.” As I read it I thought the same ideas could apply to relationships.
- Move your body in a new way. The obvious response is to try new things in your sexual relationship. You can do that if you want but there are other things you might try. For instance put on some dance music and dance together. If you are in the right climate you might shovel snow together and you could throw a few snow balls at each other or try ice skating. Do some exercise routines while you watch your favorite TV program or sporting event.
- Reset yourselves. Taking some time to relax everyday is important. It might be some breathing exercises, you might consider reading my daily scripture reflections at http://livingtogetherintheword.com. Maybe you could choose a book to read together. Sit side by side in bed and read parts to each other and talk about them. Of course you could always take a bath together.
- Be a child again. We grow up and become “serious” adults and often forget that there is a child in each of us that wants to have fun and try new things. Perhaps you might build a snowman together in addition to building one with the kids. You could even surprise them if you did it at night after they have gone to bed. Or make snow angels during a walk. Spend extra time under the mistletoe. The article suggested playing tag. You could do this and find different places to play it or different parts of your body to tag. Play a game together. Maybe get out a game you play with the kids and just play it with each other. (Sometimes this is a problem for us as Bob is very competitive.) Find ways to giggle and laugh as you did as kids.
- Have a party. In the doldrums that often come after the holidays and before the Super Bowl invite your friends for an impromptu gathering. Nothing special, or perhaps have everyone bring a casserole to share. You can laugh about whose is the worst or best. The two of you can have fun putting together your favorite “worst” casserole. If no one likes any of the food you can always order pizza and a salad.
- Drink up. Not the alcohol or soda kinds. Being hydrated is a key to being happier and healthier. Send texts or emails to each other all day long to remind one another to drink some water. Sit down together for a few minutes either before dinner or after and share a glass of water or as you watch your favorite TV program. You might also hydrate your skin by putting lotion on each other.
- Sleep deeply. Nothing makes us feel better and keeps away the winter blahs than sufficient sleep. Snuggle more, if clean linens make you sleep better, change your sheets more often. Turn off all electronics and keep them out of the bedroom. Take a relaxing bath before crawling into bed together. DON’T wait until bedtime to have all those deep discussions or confrontations that will likely keep you awake. Change the scent in your bedroom. If you like aromatherapy, add a candle, flowers or other things to the air in your bedroom. You might even shop together for new pajamas for each of you (that assumes you wear pj’s!). Maybe even take turns giving each other a backrub before you fall asleep. For many making love is a great way to relax and then fall asleep.
Whatever you do, it is important to recognize that, just like the earthly seasons, our marriage relationships can experience the lack of light and warmth that comes at this time of the year. Here in Chicago it is dark by 4:30 p.m. and doesn’t get light until nearly 7:00 a.m. Many days in January are at freezing or below. If you are like us you need to bring light and warmth to your lives together. Give some of the above a try or make up things on your own. Just recognizing the need is the first step. Turn winter into a time to renew and bring new life to your marriage. The physical cold and darkness just might pass faster. Enjoy.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.