Dealing with Whining, Meltdowns, and Tantrums?

SnuggleBuddies to the rescue! This plush toy collection with a purpose is helping children around the world learn to name and regulate their feelings.

The four color-coded mood emojis inside every SnuggleBuddies encourage children to share their emotions on a daily basis

These huggable 13″ plush toys engage children on both an emotional and a sensory level, featuring expertly embroidered details, vibrant colors, and super-soft, minky (aka awesome to snuggle) fabric. SnuggleBuddies are adored by parents, educators, therapists, and children around the world!

There are seven animals in the SnuggleBuddies collection and each one includes:

Four Mood Emojis

These 3″ plush symbols tuck inside a pocket and are connected by short, silky ribbons so they will not get lost. Each mood emoji represents a different set of feelings (happy, sad, calm, mad/scared) and prompts kids to think and talk about their emotions, thoughts, and memories.

Laminated Feelings Poster and Calendar/Journal

Using this laminated posterchildren practice noticing and naming their feelings three times a day. Just mark, wipe, and use it again, month after month!

Dry Erase Marker

enjoy life’s wonders and enchanting moments, even in spite of the seemingly inescapable lows of life. No matter the person, the tools, or the object, it is important to care for your wellbeing, in any way possible. What have you to lose?

The Advantages of a Cuddle Buddy

The Advantage of a Cuddle Buddy

Have you ever felt that feeling of cloistered peace within a night’s rest, listening to the drifting wind or the soothing rain? That warm sensation that you are watched over, safe and not alone? Perhaps the comforting cuddling of another, despite the struggles and turmoils of the day by day. This elusive ideal sensation of peacetime, of relaxation. It should belong to all, as it astronomically improves one’s well being, and attitude towards life. But what is one to do in the cold, when there is no other to aid in this feeling? Perhaps it may be received as juvenile, rejected, or unsettling, but the positive results are positively undeniable. The solution is to cuddle inanimate, comfortable objects in the absence of another. Sometimes, it is even more advantageous to cuddle inanimate objects in the presence of another partner. Why is this the case? There are two answers to this question, however. The secular advantage, in the chemical balance of the body, or perhaps the more personal perspective from that of one’s own actions. Examining the secular advantage to inanimate cuddling is the simple act of endorphin stimulation. The comforting touch of another, be it inanimate or otherwise, is of a healing process that aids in the reinforcement of safe feelings. This act of routine or occasional relaxation provides a necessary reprieve from the day to day stresses of the singular individual. Although it may seem tacky, it allows one to revisit the instinctive comforts of youth and safety, and allows for a better sense of security overall. The continuous, unchecked anxiety of the individual unconcerned for their own wellbeing can be detrimental to daily life, so it is imperative to keep the anxiety in check and take care of it. When looking from the personal experience perspective, the advantage of such cuddling and relief, be it an object or person, is not totally obvious. Some find it warm, unsettling, or perhaps lack the experience of such practice. But it cannot be denied the relief when, faced with monstrous and overwhelming obstacles, that one simple hug from the correct individual may grant one the strength to persevere and continue to provide their best in the trials ahead. That correct hug, that promise of safety, can be provided by something like a doll or teddy as well if preferred.  There is nothing shameful or condemnable about self-help. It is the responsibility of yourself to tend to yourself and soothe using the tooths that are available to you.   

Relationship and Sex Contracts

Why a Sex or Relationship Contract?

An great conversation starter – many couples never express their sexual wants and needs, even though they truly want to. Just bringing up the topic can be daunting. Going through a Sex Contract together is a fun way to get started. It brings up the topics for you!

Motivates you to explore – includes plenty of saucy ideas. Use the Negotiation Sheet to create, talk about and plan your sexy adventures.

Keeps your eye on the “prize” – with all the daily grind stuff that gets in the way, having a mutually enticing agreement ensures you prioritize time for erotic encounters.

Keeps you talking – a main reason why relationships fail is couples not communicating about these crucial issues. A sex contract brings up all the essential topics and makes the process fun, easy and even sexy.

Writing a Contract is the best way to:

♦ Bring up and discuss your needs, wants, desires and expectations;
♦ Set down your goals, rules, rights, responsibilities and limits;
♦ Know where you stand;
♦ Prioritize intimacy and sexual exploration;
♦ Review your progress and make changes to reflect your exploration;
♦ Formalize your commitment (please note an Erotic Contract is NOT legally binding). It is a tool to help guide your relationship.

Why have a Contract for Casual Sex?

It’s fun & raunchy! Plus you can set clear boundaries and make your intentions known from the start by signing a mutually beneficial contract. When you engage in sexual intimacy with someone, emotions run high and the situation can get misread very quickly. Both parties should know and agree that it’s just about casual sex with “no strings” attached.

Even if you verbally agree on this in the beginning, many ‘friends with benefits’ still gradually break the boundaries. Unfortunately, the feelings are usually only one sided and this can lead to potential emotional disaster, and unwanted behavior like stalking. Avoid this and make an agreement for both your sake.

Why a Contract for Casual Sex and Dating?

This agreement is something you can put to the person you are seeing if you’re not exactly sure where you both stand. It’s specifically designed to empower you both to discuss your needs and wants. It’s flexible enough to provide for just casual sex but also to develop into something more if the desire is there.

When you first begin seeing someone it can be extremely difficult to judge the other person’s intentions. Excitement is running high and sometimes meanings can be misjudged. What does the other person want? What do I want? Communication can be difficult even among long-term couples. That’s why it’s best to outline your intentions right from the start. There are restrictions in the agreement on what you can do and ask of one another. When someone is denied of taking a relationship further, it may just make them want it more.

So, whoever gets stronger feelings will want to end this agreement and will want to begin a new one at the next level (a relationship). That means if either party has feelings for the other, your arrangement won’t last long as a casual thing. The agreement will either come to an end completely or it may signal the beginning of something new. Either way, the idea is to enable you to end casual sex early enough for neither party to get hurt. It’s an excellent way to speed up communication and gives both parties a position of power. Whatever you want out of the deal, this contract can get if for you. Good luck and have fun!

What’s a Kinky Contract?

Are you looking to add some kink to your relationship?

Do you fantasize about taking control or being dominated?

Well, there’s never been a better time to get into it. But where do you start?

The best place to start is to discuss what you’d both like. Talk about your needs, wants and also your dislikes (limits). Many people just dive into the experience and expect their partner to automatically know these things. Don’t fall into this trap…it’s a recipe for disappointment.

If your partner is not a mind reader, you’ll need to have a chat first.

Rather than just fumble your way through it, try our Kinky Contract to start the conversation!

It’s a great way of bringing up the topic and to talk about those fantasies you may otherwise leave dormant and unfulfilled.

It doesn’t have to be a formal discussion. Make it as fun and hot as you like. What conversation could be more piquant and erotic than talking about what you’d like to do to each other (or have done to you).

The Kinky Contract is a legal style document that helps couples set up their own dominant/submissive arrangement (whether in or outside of the bedroom or both).

From Green CulturEd

We’ve all heard about some of the miraculous ways that Cannabidiol (or CBD) oil can help in the medical field. The cannabinoid has famously been linked to the alleviation of seizures and more recently has been associated with reducing anxiety and pain in patients.

CBD has some pretty amazing attributes… especially when it comes to the symptoms of a hangover. It’s known to reduce inflammation, help with chronic pain, and has shown to reduce nausea in some individuals.

While there haven’t been too many studies that look into the effects of CBD on excess alcohol consumption, a 2013 cannabis study performed on lab rats did take a look to see if CBD could alleviate alcohol’s toxic effects.

The rats were given enough alcohol that caused life-threatening seizures as a result of extreme neuro-degeneration (think killing brain cells, something that happens when we drink to excess). CBD was applied to the rat’s skin. This transdermal skin application using cannabis decreased neuro-degeneration by close to 50%. The rats that took CBD basically lost half as many brain cells as the rats that didn’t.

Mice are not men, but this study might show some promise when it comes to mitigating the effects of that hangover.

But Hangovers?

Black coffee, a greasy breakfast, and a LOT of sleep are traditional ways of “curing” a hangover, but can CBD help in this department? If so, what role can it play in helping with hangovers? Hangovers are certainly not very pleasant.

The headaches, drowsiness, dehydration, extreme fatigue, nausea, and general malaise that typically accompanies hangovers make us swear to ourselves that we’ll never drink again. But in addition to popping some ibuprofen and chugging water all day, CBD might play a role in helping hangovers subside a lot faster.

How Can CBD Oil Help With Hangovers?

If you’ve ever had a hangover, then you’re likely familiar with all the nasty side effects that typically come with it. Here are some ways that CBD oil may be able to target some of these symptoms to help you get over your hangover a lot faster.

Nausea

Nausea is often a highly unpleasant side effect of hangovers, and CBD oil has been shown to alleviate this symptom. The non-psychotropic cannabinoids interacts with serotonin receptors, and when consumed in specific doses, it has been shown to reduce both nausea and vomiting.

It can be tough to eat or drink anything when experiencing nausea, which can cause a hangover to drag out even longer. Rehydrating the body after drinking too much alcohol is important to start feeling better, but it can be tough to keep anything down when you’re feeling nauseous. With CBD oil, however, nausea can subside faster, making it easier to drink more water.

Liver Damage

CBD may also play a role in minimizing any damage done to the liver from consuming large amounts of alcohol. More specifically, studies have shown that CBD may be able to reduce the degeneration of the liver as a result of alcohol consumption in half. CBD is a potent antioxidant and neuro-protectant which can help to repair cells that alcohol consumption may have damaged.

Headaches

Anyone who’s ever had a little too much to drink knows all too well how a headache can quickly ensue. Headaches are predominantly the result of the body’s inflammatory response that is triggered as a result of too much alcohol. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can thereby help to reduce the effects of headaches by alleviating inflammation in the body.

Impaired Motor and Cognitive Functioning

Having too much alcohol in the system can cause a person to lose motor control and cognitive function. Brain fog, blurred vision, and lack of motor control are all common side effects of drinking too much alcohol.

CBD may be able to have a positive effect on improving cognitive function after a hangover, given its association with restored cognition in several studies of impairment. That said, further studies are needed to solidify this link.

CBD Oil: A Hangover Cure?

The next time you’ve had a few too many alcoholic beverages and wake up with a hangover, you’ll certainly want to rehydrate and drink plenty of water, and maybe even take an ibuprofen or two (2). But there might be another remedy that you may want to add to your hangover cure: CBD oil.

Thanks to its medicinal properties and its ability to ward off inflammation, CBD oil could be a viable way to treat your hangover and get over your uncomfortable symptoms much faster.

From Green CulturEd

We’ve all heard about some of the miraculous ways that Cannabidiol (or CBD) oil can help in the medical field. The cannabinoid has famously been linked to the alleviation of seizures and more recently has been associated with reducing anxiety and pain in patients.

CBD has some pretty amazing attributes… especially when it comes to the symptoms of a hangover. It’s known to reduce inflammation, help with chronic pain, and has shown to reduce nausea in some individuals.

While there haven’t been too many studies that look into the effects of CBD on excess alcohol consumption, a 2013 cannabis study performed on lab rats did take a look to see if CBD could alleviate alcohol’s toxic effects.

The rats were given enough alcohol that caused life-threatening seizures as a result of extreme neuro-degeneration (think killing brain cells, something that happens when we drink to excess). CBD was applied to the rat’s skin. This transdermal skin application using cannabis decreased neuro-degeneration by close to 50%. The rats that took CBD basically lost half as many brain cells as the rats that didn’t.

Mice are not men, but this study might show some promise when it comes to mitigating the effects of that hangover.

But Hangovers?

Black coffee, a greasy breakfast, and a LOT of sleep are traditional ways of “curing” a hangover, but can CBD help in this department? If so, what role can it play in helping with hangovers? Hangovers are certainly not very pleasant.

The headaches, drowsiness, dehydration, extreme fatigue, nausea, and general malaise that typically accompanies hangovers make us swear to ourselves that we’ll never drink again. But in addition to popping some ibuprofen and chugging water all day, CBD might play a role in helping hangovers subside a lot faster.

How Can CBD Oil Help With Hangovers?

If you’ve ever had a hangover, then you’re likely familiar with all the nasty side effects that typically come with it. Here are some ways that CBD oil may be able to target some of these symptoms to help you get over your hangover a lot faster.

Nausea

Nausea is often a highly unpleasant side effect of hangovers, and CBD oil has been shown to alleviate this symptom. The non-psychotropic cannabinoids interacts with serotonin receptors, and when consumed in specific doses, it has been shown to reduce both nausea and vomiting.

It can be tough to eat or drink anything when experiencing nausea, which can cause a hangover to drag out even longer. Rehydrating the body after drinking too much alcohol is important to start feeling better, but it can be tough to keep anything down when you’re feeling nauseous. With CBD oil, however, nausea can subside faster, making it easier to drink more water.

Liver Damage

CBD may also play a role in minimizing any damage done to the liver from consuming large amounts of alcohol. More specifically, studies have shown that CBD may be able to reduce the degeneration of the liver as a result of alcohol consumption in half. CBD is a potent antioxidant and neuro-protectant which can help to repair cells that alcohol consumption may have damaged.

Headaches

Anyone who’s ever had a little too much to drink knows all too well how a headache can quickly ensue. Headaches are predominantly the result of the body’s inflammatory response that is triggered as a result of too much alcohol. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can thereby help to reduce the effects of headaches by alleviating inflammation in the body.

Impaired Motor and Cognitive Functioning

Having too much alcohol in the system can cause a person to lose motor control and cognitive function. Brain fog, blurred vision, and lack of motor control are all common side effects of drinking too much alcohol.

CBD may be able to have a positive effect on improving cognitive function after a hangover, given its association with restored cognition in several studies of impairment. That said, further studies are needed to solidify this link.

CBD Oil: A Hangover Cure?

The next time you’ve had a few too many alcoholic beverages and wake up with a hangover, you’ll certainly want to rehydrate and drink plenty of water, and maybe even take an ibuprofen or two (2). But there might be another remedy that you may want to add to your hangover cure: CBD oil.

Thanks to its medicinal properties and its ability to ward off inflammation, CBD oil could be a viable way to treat your hangover and get over your uncomfortable symptoms much faster.

What Makes Crescendo Different?

Crescendo is different from any other vibrator on the market. When you buy a Crescendo, you aren’t just buying a traditional vibrator. You’re buying one that was created with the unique nature of every woman’s body in mind. This is not another hard plastic vibrator that just doesn’t quite hit the right spot or the right speeds. Instead, it can be adapted to fit the needs of a specific woman, making it the perfect way to bring more pleasure to solo pleasure sessions and partner sessions alike.

Just how is Crescendo different? Consider these important features.

1. Crescendo is adaptable and flexible so it can be shaped to fit your body.

Crescendo flexible

Unlike other vibrators, Crescendo can easily be shaped to reach your g-spot or positioned perfectly to hit your clitoris while still offering the internal stimulation you crave. You aren’t stuck with a single shape that might or might not fit the needs of your body; instead, you can shape Crescendo to you. Want something a little different for a specific pleasure session? Crescendo is easy to reshape. In essence, it’s many different vibrators, all in one convenient package. 

Thanks to its flexibility, Crescendo is easy to use solo or with a partner, during foreplay and/or intercourse. It can be bent and adapted to allow for maximum pleasure and comfort for both parties, delivering vibration and stimulation where you want it most. For the female, Crescendo can be positioned to offer clitoral, vaginal, or anal stimulation during sex. If you and your partner are both women, you can insert Crescendo in both of you at the same time, delivering high-quality vibrations in a way that will maximize your pleasure. 

That flexibility also makes Crescendo ideal for everyone. It’s equally usable for every gender and can be adapted into any shape to fit you, your partner, or both of you together. It can curve into an S shape to hit both g-spot and clitoris, curve around the head of the penis, or deliver anal stimulation, all by simply adapting the shape of the device. It’s a revolutionary, market-changing product that has the ability to change the way you see your vibrator–and the way you use it.

2. Crescendo offers six powerful motors.

Instead of a single motor that powers the entire device, Crescendo offers six individual motors, which means you can maximize your pleasure in every session. Six motors means six points of vibration, all of which can be customized. Want a different intensity or vibration pattern on your clitoris than you do your g-spot? You can use the app to customize which vibration is in which motor, which means you’ll always be able to get exactly the experience you’re looking for. 

Thanks to those six motors, you can also change where the vibration hits and when. Select a vibration pattern that moves up and down Crescendo to ramp up your excitement. Continue teasing yourself or move the vibration into place where you want it most. You can turn off motors that aren’t delivering the experience you want or leave them all active to stimulate everywhere Crescendo touches at the same time. 

Crescendo’s adaptability also makes it perfect when you’re using it during sex with your partner: since you can customize each of the six motors individually, if you have Crescendo positioned to deliver stimulation to both of you at the same time, you’ll be able to offer the level of stimulation that each partner prefers without compromising the pleasure of the other partner. One of you likes it intense and the other likes it softer? Crescendo can deliver the ideal stimulation to either partner at the same time. 

3. Crescendo has 12 preset vibrations and 16 levels of intensity.

Crescendo featuresSome women prefer continuous vibrations at a high level of intensity. Others prefer less predictable patterns at a lower level of intensity. Luckily, Crescendo takes that into consideration. When you use Crescendo, you get plenty of options to customize your session. It’s perfect for creating exactly what you want for a solo masturbation session, then adapting your vibrations for use with your partner. Not only that, you can experiment to discover new things that you like.

Many other vibrators come with relatively limited options. Some offer only a single level of vibration, while others offer one or two intensity levels or pattern changes. With Crescendo, on the other hand, you get a full range of vibrations and intensities, which means that you can find the combination that works perfectly to maximize your sexual pleasure. You can draw it out with a lower intensity and less frequent vibrations, or work your way up to the highest intensity level and a continuous vibration setting that delivers pleasure exactly where you need it most. In short, Crescendo offers the whole package.

Don’t worry, however, that you might accidentally change your settings mid-session. By pressing and holding down both the + and – buttons at the same time for 3 seconds, you can lock Crescendo’s current settings, allowing you to continue with your pleasure session without the risk that you’ll accidentally disrupt your pleasure in a moment of passion or allow something to get in the way.

4. Crescendo’s app allows for a fully customized experience.

The app comes with over 40 additional vibration patterns that you can download, or you can create your own custom vibration patterns. Control it yourself with ease or let your partner control your pleasure by handing over your connected device and letting them take control. They can deliver pleasure straight to your g-spot or prostate or shift vibration to different motors to keep you on the edge and begging for more. The app works perfectly as long as you’re within 10 feet of the device, so your partner can even control your pleasure from across the room, keeping you guessing or adding to your pleasure while also engaged with other tasks. 

Thanks to the app, you can also save the settings that work best for you. With so many options to choose from, it would be easy to forget which combination delivered the best mind-blowing pleasure in a specific scenario. Thanks to the app, however, you can save the combinations that work best for you with a description that lets you know exactly what they were from–and allows you to get back to them quickly!

5. Crescendo is designed to charge wirelessly.

In just 45 minutes, you can have a full charge that will deliver up to 2 hours of pleasure. The wireless charging option means that there are no ports or holes to worry about, and nothing that can interfere with your pleasure or the comfort and function of your device. With convenience at the top of the priority list, Crescendo truly delivers. With two hours of playtime every time you fully charge your device, you can use Crescendo throughout your play sessions or use it to help you lie back and relax. It won’t wear out before you do! Crescendo will continue to deliver the same intense sensations throughout the whole of your play, unlike many other battery-operated devices, which may deliver more intense vibrations only when they have a fresh set of batteries. 

6. Crescendo is fully waterproof and safe for the shower or tub.

Anywhere you can go, Crescendo can go along with you. It’s fully waterproof, with no holes or charging ports that could cause your device to short out if you use it in the water. As a result, you can easily take Crescendo into the shower or tub. This makes Crescendo ideal for use in pelvic floor therapy or when you want to lie back in the warm water and let those vibrations carry you away. Since it’s completely sealed, it’s safe to use either end of the device in your play or to expose the device to water at any point. 

Being fully waterproof also means that Crescendo is easy to clean. You should always clean your vibrator after every session, whether solo or with a partner. Use simple soap and water or purchase a cleaner specifically for your sex toys: either option will ensure that your Crescendo is clean and ready for use in your next session. 

Made of premium silicone, Crescendo is a high-quality product that is safe for insertion and designed to last. Many people question why they would invest in Crescendo when they could choose a less expensive vibrator instead. The answer is simple: you get what you pay for. There is no substitute for the high-quality material and technology that goes into every Crescendo product. Each one is designed to deliver maximum stimulation and pleasure to each user. 

MysteryVibe acknowledges that every body is different–and Crescendo is designed with exactly that in mind. With so many different options to choose from, Crescendo is the ideal vibrator for all your needs. 

Self-care is not selfish

There are a number of ways, and reasons, to take care of yourself! It is not an indulgence, splurge or selfish to engage in an act of self-care. These little breaks allow us to be our best, for us and for those around us. Has it been so long since your last act of self-care that you don’t know what to choose? Check out this list:

134 Activities to Add to Your Self-Care Plan

What Two Young Boys Taught Their Grandma About Anger

I gave SnuggleBuddies to my grandsons while they were visiting for Christmas to help them learn about feelings, but what happened next surprised me.  

snugglebuddies and children

You see, that Christmas morning, we had a situation, one that caused my dog to get very, very sick. My dog had gotten into some chocolate candy. 

My grandson tried to comfort our dog with the things that comfort them. Hank the elf, their SnuggleBuddies Red Bear and Orange Fox, blankets, and a balloon.

SnuggleBuddies Red Bear and Orange Fox with dog

When I found out that my husband had left the chocolates out where the dog got into them, I was furious.

Having to deal with a sick puppy is bad enough, but to make matters worse, I have a rare neuromuscular condition (Myasthenia Gravis) that greatly affects my activity and breathing, and extra activity lands me in bed and on my noninvasive ventilator.

I knew from past experience that a dog eating chocolate results in a very ill pooch with lots of cleaning up and a special diet.

I wanted to enjoy our visit with the kids and the holidays…but I was angry.

I knew my husband did not intend for this to happen, and I did not want to be in a bad mood for the evening while my family was visiting. But I was! 

That was when my daughter suggested the boys ask NayNay (me) if she wanted to “do her feelings”.

They were excited about that and ran to get their SnuggleBuddies to share with me.

young boy with snuggle buddy

Everyone listened and supported me as I went through my feelings.

I began to feel better, and it dawned on me that I was actually setting an example for my grandsons.

snugglebuddies and grandma

I also realized that had my grandsons and their SnuggleBuddies not been there, I wouldn’t have talked about or worked through my angry feelings that quickly.

I just love those things; they are so cuddly! I ordered myself a Red Bear. And don’t tell, but Red Bear has already helped my husband with some of his feelings too.

As a grandma, I love Generation Mindful. It makes me feel like I can really add to my grandson’s lives in a lasting way. They live 15 hours away, so I don’t see them in person often.  But it is so important to me that they know I SEE THEM!!!

Sometimes my grandsons call/facetime me to tell me their sad or mad feelings…and I think, I can do this! I can be there for them.

Despite any amount of distance or disability, I can listen.

_____________

Generation Mindful creates tools, toys, and programs that nurture emotional intelligence through play and positive discipline. Join us and receive joy in your inbox each week.

Time-in Toolkit in action

Peacemakers Card Game in action

 

Self Soothing Tip #1

The Science behind Weighted Blanket Benefits

Weighted blankets have been used in the scientific health and occupational therapy space for over a decade. Studies published in peer-reviewed journals date back to 2008 from a wide range of researchers: neuroscience, bio-engineering, physiology, behavioral health and occupational therapy. The findings are very promising and speak to the efficacy of a weighted blanket.

The basic premise behind weighted blankets is the power of Deep Pressure Touch Stimulation. “Deep pressure touch helps the body relax. Like a firm hug, weighted blankets help us feel secure, grounded and safe*.” Besides feeling comforted and relaxed, the following benefits have been scientifically shown in most studies done with weighted blankets:

  • Naturally increase levels of relaxation with Serotonin and Melatonin release
  • Help reduce stress and anxiety levels by lowering Cortisol levels
  • Minimize fidgeting, anxiousness and other ADHD effects
  • Sleep longer and better with a “warm hug” feeling
  • Reduce symptoms of other sensory and sleep disorders including Insomnia, Anxiety,
  • Panic attacks, Autism, Restless leg syndrome and others.

*(Psychology Today) Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/minding-the-body/201112/choosing-blanket-help-you-sleep

Dr. Harmony Recommended Products

Mosaic 728x90

7 ways to reconnect with your long-term partner

We get so caught up in the pattern of ‘business as usual’ that the romantic connection we once had with our partner starts to get lost.

So, how do we reconnect, and what are the best ways to keep a long-term relationship interesting?

Here are 7 ways you and your partner can strengthen your relationship.

1. Make time for each other

This might seem like an obvious thing to do, but when you’re both so busy it’s an easy one to forget.

Plan some time each week, for just the two of you, and use it to get to know each other better. Whether you end up talking about a good book you’ve just read, or a problem you’re having at work, just by setting aside some time free of distractions like your cellphone, you’ll both feel more connected.

2. Small gestures add up

Don’t forget the little things in your relationship. It doesn’t need to be a big occasion, like an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, to make a romantic gesture.

Doing things like texting your partner while they’re at work just to say you’re thinking of them, or making your partner a cup of coffee in the morning, are small loving gestures that build up over time and don’t require a whole heap of planning.

Plus, those off-the-cuff moments will take you back to the flirtatious days when you first met.

3. Change your routine

While those small, everyday gestures are an easy way to show your partner you love them, changing up your routine can be another way to reconnect.

You could go for a spontaneous meal out, surprise your partner with a nice bottle of wine as a treat, or book tickets to a concert. Doing something a bit different helps to shake up the norm and could be fun to see where an unexpected evening takes you.

4. Learn a new skill together

Learning a new skill can be a great way to boost your confidence later in life. And doing it with your partner will not only make your new hobby easier to stick to; it could help your romantic bond grow stronger.

Whether it’s dance classes, or committing to jogging a 5k, set yourselves a mutual goal that you can support one another towards.

5. Show physical affection

In a long-term relationship, it’s common to feel distant, both emotionally and physically.

One way to overcome this is to make a conscious effort to show each other more affection. If you get in the habit of kissing each other goodbye, or greeting your partner with a hug, that intimacy will help to strengthen your emotional bond.

6. Look after yourself

While making time for each other is important, scheduling in some ‘me’ time is essential to having a healthy long-term relationship. If you don’t feel fulfilled in yourself, it’s more likely you’ll resent your partner’s company and you can’t bring the best version of yourself to the relationship.

Spend some time exploring your own interests, doing things with friends, or working on your health and fitness. Then, you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to spend quality time with your partner.

7. Communicate

Don’t let issues fester. The sooner you address disagreements or feelings of discontent, the sooner you give your partner an opportunity to address those problems.

And, if you find trying to communicate causes arguments, use the rule of three sentences. This works really well when you want to ask your partner to do something, without nagging.

For example, saying, ‘Please can you do the dishes tonight, I’m feeling pretty tired. It would help a lot’ gets your point across, without causing argument.

While every couple is different, it’s more common than you might think for people to drift apart in a long-term relationship. But these are just 7 small ways we think you can help

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