Last week sucked for Aaron.
It’s not because the weather wasn’t great, or because work was frustrating for him. He got to go fishing and he actually had several days off in a row! No, life sucked for Aaron because I was having a particularly stressful week. And the reality is, when one person in a relationship is going through a tough week, so is the other person. Even the smallest of frustrations can completely offset the balance of a household.
Aaron and I are certainly not couples therapists. In fact, we’re both complete hot heads when it comes to arguments. Luckily, in the past few weeks we’ve unknowingly begun working together to relax and relieve stress as a couple instead of in our own ways.
In the past few weeks we’ve unknowingly begun working together to relax and relieve stress.
We’ve found that the following stress relief techniques have allowed us to work as a team to manage our stress even in situations where we’re having a difficult time connecting.
- Start a ritual: This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about habits and how magical and awesome and life-changing they can be when used in the correct way. We’ve found that implementing stress relief techniques before bed can serve as a way to unwind and reset so that you’re in a great place for the next day. About an hour before bed we turn off our technology, light some candles and find a relaxing Spotify playlist like this or this. Sometimes we talk, and sometimes we don’t really want to. Either way, we’re making the commitment to wind down together.
- Try something new: I’ve never been into yoga. I’ve taken several classes that have incorporated yoga techniques into training. However, I didn’t think of the practice as something that could be useful for stress or anxiety. Last week Aaron and I decided to try a Relax and Restore class that incorporated some stretches and meditation. I did have to ignore the image of Aaron meditating and finding his inner beauty (it’s so not him!). But after it was over we were both happy we’d tried it. Then, bonus: we had something new to talk about on the way home and before bed.
- Do something mindless: Sometimes just allowing yourself to do something completely useless is the best stress reliever. In these cases, Netflix can be a wonderful tool. If you find yourself sitting in front of the television telling yourself there are 15 other things to do, remind yourself that your mental health needs some attention too!
- Talk it out: Aaron is my person. And I’m his person. We both vent to one another. It can be a great stress reliever unless the ventee takes on the venter’s stress. All you ventees, remember that you’re there to be a sounding board, not the fixer of all problems. Venters… let the ventees talk a little. 🙂
- Get in touch with your inner child: Card games, coloring books, legos… all of these are mindless and therefore allow you to focus on things that aren’t your frustrating job or your dirty kitchen. (In fact, coloring books were even listed on Our Faves for May).
- Turn off the tech: Technology is so great… but it’s feakin’ stressful. When I look at my phone, I have a dozen apps that are there to tell me all the things I need to know in my life… but there are SO MANY THINGS! Technology is meant to make life easier, but if you feel a little overwhelmed with information every time you use it, it’s stressing you out. Make a pact to spend time away from the tech and just with one another for an hour a day. YOU CAN DO IT!
- Get your cuddle on: You know, actually spend some physical time and attention to one another. You can do it, and it will help. We promise.
We encourage you to take one or two of these ideas (only the ones that actually sound fun!) and implement them into your week.
These are our daily stress relief processes. What are we missing? What have you done as a couple to relieve stress and get back on track?