Getting back on track after summer
As summer ends and we get back into our daily routines, we are all in a time of transition. Our relationships can be put on the backburner in this busy time. Read on to find out how to make the most of this transition time, and connect more deeply with your partner.
How do I get out of vacation mode and back into routines?
When we’ve had a fun or relaxing summer, the idea of going back to work and daily life can be unappealing. It is easy to be overwhelmed by life’s routines forcing their way back in. If you’re dreading the days getting shorter and going back to work, it sounds like a shift in perspective could help.
Routines can help us be productive, stay on track with our goals, and provide a sense of stability especially during stressful times. And you can always keep things interesting by shaking up your routines once in a while.
It’s also easier to add new good habits to our existing routines, instead of starting from scratch. If you add a new habit to your life (like exercising more) to a habit you already do in your routine (like brushing your teeth), you associate your new habit with your existing habit (every time you brush your teeth, you do five squats after). That’s easier to implement than vaguely saying you’ll do the new habit sometime during the day.
The end of summer brings great potential. You are (hopefully) relaxed and well-rested. You might find new motivation to make that change in your life that you’ve been thinking about. Maybe you want to find a new job, or start a new workout routine. And you can start new habits with your partner that strengthen your relationship. Read more to find out how to ease into your routines, and support yourself and your relationship this fall.
5 tips for changing your mindset for a better fall
Here are five things you can do to have a positive mindset as fall begins:
1. Have a meaningful goodbye to summer. Look through the pictures you took with your partner. Tell your partner one thing you loved about the summer. Frame a photo or put a souvenir on display. Taking time to acknowledge your positive memories can give you closure and help you move forward into fall.
2. Make conscious choices about what you want your life to look like. You don’t have to go back to the way life was before summer. Maybe you want to learn something new. Perhaps there’s a friend you want to see more (or less) often. You might want to bring more romance into your relationship. Take time to reflect and be intentional about how you live your life.
3. Take your time. You don’t have to start everything full-force the second the leaves start to change. Set reasonable expectations for what you want to accomplish in the first few weeks of fall. Go easy on yourself and your partner as you both adjust.
4. Look on the bright side. Make a list of all the things you love about fall. Celebrate the comfort that comes with routine. If you get antsy about routines, make some plans for the coming weeks that you can look forward to - as a couple, but also for yourself.
5. Make room for the shadow side. It’s okay to not feel bright all the time. Be kind to yourself during this transition. Take time to cry or stay in bed or ask for help. Let yourself feel your feelings, so you can move through them.
Just like you’re tending to your individual needs, it’s important to be proactive in your relationship as well. Keep reading for ways to support your relationship as summer ends.
5 ways to regain the spark in your relationship after the summer
Summer is ending, and life’s routines are knocking. Maybe you and your partner had some arguments over the summer, and you’re feeling disconnected as you’re preparing for fall. Or maybe you had a great summer together, and you’re worried about your relationship getting lost in the shuffle of work, school, and your busy everyday lives.
Either way, you might struggle to prioritize your relationship as you get back into the swing of things. But don’t worry - Coupleness is here to help you connect - or reconnect - and strengthen your relationship this fall. Here are five practical activities you can do with your partner to help your love come alive this fall:
1. Practice gratitude. There are many benefits of gratitude, including better sleep, more optimism, and being able to feel more helpful and forgiving. Those are all helpful things as we ease back into our routines. Try spending a few minutes 3-4 times per week writing about the things you’re thankful for. You can do this in your phone, a journal, or the app Coupleness, which has a space for sharing things you’re grateful for with your partner in the daily tracker.
2. Be curious together. Curiosity is one of the main things that can boost your relationship. No matter how long you’ve been together, there’s always more you can learn about each other. The way to avoid boring routines and taking each other for granted is to ask questions and explore together. Start each day by asking each other what goals you have for the day. End each day by asking what was meaningful or important about the day. Every weekend, you can each tell a story about your childhood that your partner hasn’t heard before. You can use Coupleness’ Question of the Day in the app as inspiration. There is so much to discover.
3. Keep the spirit of summer alive. Think about what you like about summer. Is it trying new things, relaxing, or being spontaneous? Try to integrate your favorite parts of summer into your daily life. Maybe you treat yourselves to a spa night after a stressful day at work. Or you don’t make any plans for the weekend so you have space to be spontaneous. Pitch a tent in your living room for a “weekend getaway.” Get creative and find new ways to have fun together.
4. Have a weekly relationship check-in. A great way to maintain a strong relationship is to have time set aside each week for gratitude, talking things through, and looking ahead. Sit down together or take a walk for 30 minutes once a week, perhaps every Sunday. Start by thanking each other for things you have done for each other during the past week. Then have open discussion time for any issues that have come up, things that have been on your minds, or plans you need to make (anything from who will make dinner, to when you’ll have some alone time). Work as a team to connect, repair and find solutions. Close by asking each other how you can support each other this week. This time dedicated to your relationship and each other can help you navigate the ups and downs of your lives - and relationship.
5. Start a new good habit. When trying to rekindle a spark, or be proactive in our relationships, a quick fix probably isn’t going to make a lasting impact. Instead, building new habits step by step can lead to big positive changes over time. Start with something small and easy to implement into your lives. Maybe it’s taking a 20-minute walk together every evening. Or saying “thank you” to each other for something once a day. Or committing to go on a date once a week, even if it’s as simple as one person cooking the other a nice meal. If you haven’t already, download the app Coupleness for a fun and easy way to build good habits in your relationship.