The countdown to Christmas and holidays is here. This time of year we want to think of the best gifts to give our partner or loved ones. Here are some gifts to give and they are free!
1. Reignite your spark. Touch your partner more, listen to a physical need he or she has and make sure you do it often. It’s a free gift that keeps giving.
Long-term couples don’t touch enough. When we touch—especially skin-to-skin—we get a little rush of the brain chemicals that help trigger those loving feelings. Think about how often you and your partner actually share physical contact on a daily basis. If it’s just a quick peck on the lips before and after work, make an effort to step up your game.
Walsh cites research showing that a 20-second hug can trigger a significant oxytocin release. “Most married couples hug for three seconds or less,” she says. “So I advise them, two to three times a day, to stop what they’re doing and hold a long, calm embrace. It can change your biochemistry, and you’ll begin to bond again.”
2. Put a timed limit on technology. Instead, focus on your partnership and just being and enjoying your partner and his or her company.
I have seen thousands of couples in my practice and everyone wants three basic things: unconditional love, respect and acceptance. This is a great gift to give yourself your partner and/or your family going into the new year.
3. Plan a vacation or staycation. Choosing which gift to buy your partner can be nerve-wracking, difficult, or you can spend a lot of money to feel like you bought what he or she really wants. The fact is, feeling whole and together, with a strong partnership is what most people want. If you plan a shared vacation or staycation, you are away from your every day shared lives. This can help you both break negative patterns and get focused on each other’s needs.
Before you go, though, have an honest conversation about your expectations, says Alexandra Solomon, licensed clinical therapist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University.
4. Compliment your partner and be grateful of life’s positives. Remind yourself of what you value and why in your life and tell your partner why you enjoy him or her. People like to feel appreciated. Try to focus more on the good things and less on the hardships in life or with your partner. So much of our reality is defined by our perspective. Look outward with a softer, more positive gaze and you will be surprised by the goodness you can see and appreciate.
These are all gifts that can make you and your relationship thrive through the holiday season and for years to come. Christmas can be a rushed and stressful time of giving gifts that are not really needed or wanted. Let this be the year you make your relationships, communication, enjoyment and satisfactions last throughout the entire year!
PS Wrap a little something up just to be safe!