FAMILY & PARENTING · Uncategorized

The Necessity of Rituals in Relationships

rituals1

Rituals – another name for Routines?

I would like to think not.

Differences – Firstly Rituals just have a better ring to it while routines come with a sterner connotation. Secondly Rituals are almost ceremonious while routines have a very monotonous ‘must do’ kind of feel to them.

So whats with all this talk of Rituals. In a recent conversation with a Psychologist, I came to understand that we all need a bank of positive experiences and upbeat emotions. Sure that’s common sense. But the second part was the catch. We especially need this positive BANK ( 🙂 BANK) in times of crisis, stress, pressure etc.

In those stressful times we need this 🙂 BANK to draw some positive energy to tide us through the tough times. Without a sufficient deposit of good memories in our 🙂 BANK we possibly sink even lower during the rough patches and relationships bear the brunt of it all.

So in order to maintain healthy and constructive relationships, rituals become a must.

As I understand it, it’s making the ‘task’ grander then it can be and something that the involved parties look forward to. And ofcourse like a routine it has be regular and consistent. We often read of babies who love routines. It gives them comfort to know whats coming next. So with rituals we are just upping the game by declaring that not only do you know whats coming but whats coming is going to be super exciting EVERYDAY.

COMFORT + JOY = HAPPINESS.

With children, if it means reading a book before they sleep, then we dress up this activity by creating some invigorating lighting, tucking into a cozy bed with favorite cushions, soft toys etc. and making the whole scene so inviting that the children cant wait for it to start and soak it all up.

If we are talking of a walk, then pry away from the phone and take them on a nature wonderland trail.

Better still have a no gadget day (if that’s asking for too much), then a no gadget hour. A no gadget hour can be done everyday with the kiddos and they will love having your undivided attention.

With adults in a relationship, find a thing to do together that both enjoy and talk. Yes talk. And talk emotions not recap what you did the whole day but how you felt. Maybe enjoy some wine, coffee, tea together. Your time, at your favourite place (maybe an inviting garden, balcony or just your room). Make it inviting. And most definitely all gadgets off the table.

Maybe an evening walk to unwind with your partner. Take away the routine and add ritual to it by …… ( don’t have all the answers, add your twist to it and do share with me)

Once in a month, or maybe once a week add a date night (consistency is the key again). A dear friend of mine has been quite the proponent of this for years. Paraphrasing her words – Set a date, time, dress up in fine clothes for each other, smell divine, look smashing. Make the effort to look and feel wonderful for your long-standing partner and go out on a date, just the 2 of you. For parents who cant head out, create the magic at home. Not in your pajamas though.

Some of these things seem artificial and frankly with kids who has the energy or inclination by the end of the day.

Start it off like a ‘task’, must-do for your 🙂 BANK and slowly colour it with your own exciting ideas.

Hubby and self had decided to start it off a couple of months back but because it felt a little unnatural, we weren’t consistent and then our life would take over and we would forget to invest in our relationship. Hubby doesn’t drink wine, I cant have caffeine at night so we struggled with making a ritual that was ours, that we both could enjoy. We finally decided to take it seriously when we realized that our 🙂 BANK was close to a zero balance when head butted by our life stressors and we were not adding enough good memories and fast. We realized that we love sitting in our balcony and enjoying the cool breeze and talking in that environment doesn’t feel too artificial. Now I need to dress up this ritual more, maybe add a few scented candles, add in a dessert… Whats not good for the heart is great for the soul and the 🙂 BANK.

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