By: Quique Autrey, MS, LPC Intern Need some ideas to improve your relationship? Has it been difficult to stay connected to your partner during the pandemic? Couples are experiencing higher levels of stress and conflict than usual. Most agree that it’s been a challenge to adjust to the new “normal.” We have all responded to […]
Need some ideas to improve your relationship? Has it been difficult to stay connected to your partner during the pandemic? Couples are experiencing higher levels of stress and conflict than usual. Most agree that it’s been a challenge to adjust to the new “normal.”
We have all responded to the uncertainty in different ways. For some, this means struggling with sleep. For others, it means engaging in avoidance behaviors or falling into depression. More time at home with the kids and a change in relationship roles has also contributed to the heightened anxiety. With all the changes, we are connecting less with our loved ones. In order to cope with all this stress, couples need to be intentional about finding creative ways to connect with each other.
A Few Ways to Connect With Your Partner and Improve Your Relationship
Go For A Walk
Go for a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood. Moderate exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve your mood. A nice walk around a lake can provide a beautiful setting that helps you feel more calm and relaxed. Walking also activates parts of the brain that result in insight and clarity. If you want to work out an issue with your partner, going for a walk may be the perfect time to do so. Remember to hold hands while you walk. Holding hands can help reignite a feeling of emotional closeness.
Cooking a meal together can help you improve your communication with your partner. You’ll have to follow different steps and you’ll need to coordinate who does what in the meal prep. Cook a meal that’s a little outside your comfort zone.
Not sure how to get started? Hello Fresh will mail you a box with everything you need to feel like an accomplished chef (https://www.hellofresh.com). Open a bottle of your favorite wine and listen to some music while you cook your delicious meal together.
Learn To Dance
My partner and I started online dancing classes during the pandemic (https://showheroff.com). I was hesitant at first because I’ve never had much rhythm. After getting over the initial fear of embarrassment, I had a blast learning the foundational skills of dancing. Dancing is great indoor exercise and it also encourages you to work on communicating with your partner and trusting their lead. Dancing can introduce a level of fun and physical intimacy your relationship is missing in the pandemic!
The Gottman Institute has found that two minutes of undistracted time with your partner can be more significant for the relationship than an entire week spent together where there’s constant distraction (https://www.gottman.com/blog/3-daily-rituals-that-stop-spouses-from-taking-each-other-for-granted/).
One practice that has been meaningful for me and my partner is taking a few minutes to express what we appreciate about the other person. You can highlight what you appreciate about their appearance, their personality or something they’ve done that day. This appreciation exercise encourages you to slow down and communicate with your partner what you admire about them. This can help cultivate feelings of gratitude for the other person.
Taking a bath together has been our favorite way to stay connected over the pandemic. There are many benefits to taking a warm bath in the evening. A bath can help relieve stress and calm the nerves. Baths can help sooth a throbbing headache. Sharing a bath is very sensual and encourages you to be vulnerable and intimate with your partner. A nice bath can also be a great way to foreplay before making love.
Relationship Counseling Can Help
Every relationship can benefit from couple’s counseling. Couple’s counseling is not just for relationships at the brink of falling apart. Couple’s counseling can help any partnership that needs help navigating conflict. A skilled couple’s therapist can guide you in identifying the sources of conflict and help you develop the skills you need to improve your communication! You can also work on specific goals that will help you and your partner establish patterns of emotional and sexual connection that can improve the overall quality of your relationship. If you are stuck in conflict with your partner and would like help getting unstuck, please give us a call at the Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch. We would love to help you cultivate a happy and meaningful relationship with your partner.
If you are ready to improve your relationship one of the therapists at The Center at Cinco Ranch can help! We provide couple’s counseling as well as other services. To begin couples counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to get more information on couples counseling
- Meet with one of our skilled therapists
- Find ways to thrive in your relationship!
Other Therapy Services We Offer
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch we offer counseling services for people of all ages including: women’s issues, treatment for anxiety, trauma counseling, counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, eating disorder treatment, depression treatment, family therapy, and group counseling.