10 Tweaks to Help You Thrive as a Couple

In the midst of so much of our lives changing every day, it can be very tempting to throw your routine out the window. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic can easily make anyone want to crawl into bed, snuggled up in your partner’s arms, to watch Netflix and lounge the day away. This might be a welcomed escape right now, but may become less tempting as the days go on.

You and your partner are in this for the long haul, and while we don’t know how long that actually is, we do know that you shouldn’t let the lifestyle you’ve cultivated together slip away. We encourage you to control what you can, which is how you spend your days. Even though you can’t do the exact things you could a month ago, you can still control the feeling and spirit of your lifestyle. And as a bonus, you get many more hours in the day with your partner, uninterrupted by activities that normally compete for that treasured time together.

Swap the “normal” things you’re not currently able to do and with something you can enjoy while social distancing — or quarantining or self-isolating together — or whatever stage of this you’re in. We hope this helps you keep some control and sense of normalcy.

Here are 10 social distancing-friendly swaps you can try. We encourage you to modify these or come up with our own!

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Your friends + My friends = Our friends?

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Healthy relationships are vital to life. When cared for, relationships bring us joy. They bring us strength. They bring us connection. And so many other great things. But relationships are work! And, I’m not just talking about relationships that come with a lifelong commitment like a marriage or parenting, but friendships too.

Friendships are relationships we choose to have. We start to take this autonomy of deciding our friends when we are young, even before we truly understand what it means to be a friend. When I was in elementary school, I remember sitting around the dinner table with my family and one of my parents always would ask, “Did you make any new friends today?” I don’t remember what my answer was on a given day, but I’m sure I answered yes.

Back then, a friend was someone who held the door for you while coming inside from recess. Or someone who would trade you their peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your egg salad. Or maybe even the girl who has the pretty bow in her hair … maybe we’ve never actually played together, but she seems cool, so I’ll say she’s my friend. Read More

How to Maximize the Night Owl vs Early Bird Trade-Off

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I’m the early bird. I’m typically awake when the first glimmer of light peeks through the curtains. I lie there and doze, but by 6:00 a.m. I decide it’s a reasonable time to get out of bed, carefully without disturbing my husband. As I pass by the closet, I grab a basket of laundry. By the time the clothes are in the dryer, I’m planning the weekend activities while mentally visualizing what needs to be replaced in the pantry. I move on to watering the garden while enjoying my second cup of coffee.  At 8:30 a.m., it’s time to roust the household to get this laundry put away.

What might seem like work is actually peaceful, quiet time for me to enjoy the early morning. It might sound lonely, but I quite like this time to myself. Once the rest of the household wakes up and starts the day, we move into doing our Saturday “together.” My husband and I walk to the local grocery store and pick up a short list of items for the coming week. Once we get home, we decide to check a few things off the “to-do” list, which includes giving the dogs a bath. We make a new recipe for dinner; actually my husband makes a new recipe, while I follow behind cleaning up the dirty dishes. We end the evening with a glass of wine and movie. Read More

5 Easy Steps to Relax While on a Family Vacation

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Who doesn’t love to go on vacation? In the summer, we Minnesotans usually flock up north to a cabin on a lake. The warm sunshine, refreshing lake water, and lovely breeze are unbeatable – especially when you realize winter is only a few months away. But sometimes, the serenity vacation brings can be dampened by family dynamics and the little things that just drive you nuts. You know, your nephew waking you up at 6am, your father-in-laws tasteless jokes, and your husband’s grandma constantly tidying up when you’re trying to relax. It’s one thing to vacation with the family you grew up with, but it’s another thing to spend days with a family you are new to. Depending on how similar and different your family of origin was to your partner’s, your vacation might not be much of a vacation. Read More

The Importance of Intention

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Planning a wedding has been classically described as a huge undertaking of time that costs a lot of money and has a ton of moving parts. With the average US wedding costing nearly $27,000, this description is a reality for many couples. From selecting the perfect dress, to the beautiful venue, to delicious food, and enjoyable entertainment, the task seems daunting. Especially when well-meaning family, friends, and about-to-be in-laws jump in with opinions as well as society as a whole suggesting the wedding has to happen in a certain way.

I’ll let you in on a little secret – Read More