Self-care has never been more important, especially for people in relationships. Couples who engage in self-care rituals together have a stronger bond and say they feel more satisfied with their relationship than couples who don’t have rituals in place. If you are looking to improve your relationship or build one from scratch, try some of these 10 self-care rituals to boost your bond with your partner.
1) Take time to laugh
Laughter can change your mood and reduce stress. Try exploring fun ideas for self-care together by watching a comedy movie, having a pillow fight or playing a silly game. You'll increase your happiness and strengthen your bond. (We have more suggestions here.) Laughing with someone else is also an easy way to make them feel good. Plus, it’s contagious! So you’ll both feel happier when you start laughing together. In fact, couples who laugh together stay together!
While doing any of these activities, be sure to support each other in a positive way and complement each other as often as possible. Compliments are like happy pills because they make us feel good about ourselves and they show that we care about others.
2) Laugh Together
A simple activity such as laughing together helps couples bond. Watch a funny video or go out for dinner at a comedy club. Engaging in similar hobbies can also help people fall in love and stay together. If you’re part of a couple, it’s important to nurture your relationship by engaging in self-care rituals on a regular basis. By spending time doing things you enjoy, you’ll help foster feelings of affection and appreciation that are crucial to keeping your bond strong over time.
3) Indulge In Each Other’s Company
Let’s face it: spending time with your partner is good for you and your relationship. You are not only nurturing your own well-being by spending quality time together, but you are reinforcing your commitment to nurturing one another and your relationship. A recent study showed that couples who engage in self-care rituals stay together and report a more satisfying relationship. Spending time together can be as simple as taking a walk or enjoying a meal out at your favorite restaurant. Here are some other ideas for ways to spend quality time with your significant other:
- Get lost in conversation over dinner or drinks at a new restaurant.
- Take an evening stroll through an outdoor market while browsing unique wares.
- Schedule regular date nights where you try something new like learning how to cook gourmet meals together or seeing what happens when you dance like no one is watching!
4) Create A Nurturing Atmosphere
The idea behind a self-care ritual is not to do things that feel indulgent, like taking bubble baths or eating ice cream. It’s actually just about making sure you take time for yourselves and do something together that helps nurture your relationship. Even taking a brisk walk together can be considered a self-care ritual if it adds more quality time between the two of you. One couple we interviewed said they started playing tennis together every week. It’s our thing, and we look forward to it all week long, she said. And even though I don’t play well at all, he thinks I am great! We both love it. And that makes me happy!
5) Give Selfless Gifts
Giving a gift of something you made can be a selfless act that brings you closer to your partner. Personalizing it in some way makes it even more special, too. Whether your partner is into baking or golf, there are crafts and activities they’ll appreciate and will remind them of you when they do it. If you want true closeness, go out of your way to do things for one another and make it as easy as possible for them, says Dr. Gottman. In our research we find that people who have shared chores tend to have happier marriages than those who don’t share chores, he explains. That doesn’t mean every single chore has to be shared—but if you each take on an equal number of chores over time, then by definition they will all get shared eventually! It just takes patience and persistence.
6) Set The Stage For Intimacy
Want to help create an environment where you both enjoy intimacy? Set up a relaxing environment with nice music, warm lighting, and maybe even some candles. This helps set a calming mood, so it’s easier for you to get in the mood. You can also incorporate aromatherapy into your self-care ritual by burning lavender candles or scented oils. All of these things will help create a soothing atmosphere that makes you both feel more relaxed about being intimate with one another.
7) Enjoy Nature Together
One of our favorite self-care rituals is enjoying nature together. No matter what season it is, we love to hike in local parks or national forests and breathe in the fresh air. When we’re feeling stressed out, it’s also a great place for us to take a moment and just be in silence. This helps us feel refreshed and more connected with each other. It’s also a great time to practice gratitude by counting all of our blessings. By taking advantage of these natural resources, you can enjoy them all year round!
8) Have Quality Alone Time Together
Alone time can be critical in a relationship because it helps each partner understand and process their own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This can help you determine whether or not you’re even compatible with your partner. In other words, spend some time alone on your terms: Take a walk by yourself; visit with a friend; go to church or temple by yourself. You don’t have to do anything—you just need time away from your partner. Then, come back together and talk about what you experienced. It may surprise you!
9) Practice Gratitude Towards One Another
One way to strengthen your relationship is to practice gratitude. Try writing down one thing each of you is grateful for and leave it on your partner’s pillow. The next day, read what you wrote aloud and discuss it with your partner. This simple ritual will remind you both of all that’s good in your relationship. You can also create a gratitude jar and place slips of paper in it with things you are grateful for, then read them aloud at dinner or breakfast together. Each time you do something nice for your partner, write it down on a slip of paper and add it to the jar. At the end of every week, draw out two slips and do something nice for each other based on those things.
10) Rekindle The Passion
In order to keep your sex life exciting, it’s important that you have a healthy attitude toward sex. One of my favorite things about being in a relationship is still thinking about what my partner will do next time we are together. Rekindle that passion by surprising each other sexually. It doesn’t have to be crazy—it can be as simple as bringing a new sex toy into bed with you or playing out a fantasy you’ve always had. Surprise! That’s hot. You should also try and surprise each other outside of the bedroom too; like when you bring home flowers for no reason at all or take them on an impromptu date night.