Relationship Institute Australasia

Counselling and
Professional Training.

29 March 2021

Categories:


As we are making steps towards what resembles a normal existence: lockdowns and border closures are almost in the rear vision mirror. Restaurants, theatres, art galleries and theme parks have reopened. Australians as a whole have been remarkable in the way we have responded to the pandemic. Never before have mental health support services been so overwhelmed with individuals, couples and families seeking assistance for stress, anxiety, depression and relationship issues.

It is time to invest in your relationship to acknowledge struggles and to replenish your relationship optimism, connection and intimacy levels. Together you can increase your relationship strengths and lose relationship negativity. The Easter break is a great opportunity to take the 4 Day Relationship Reboot Challenge.

 

This challenge only requires 30 minutes per day over four days. It focuses your attention on strengthening the quality of your friendship system, to improve how well you know one another, like each other and the way you are there for each other.

 

To start, here is a great resource app, the Gottman Card Deck. Just download this app on to your smartphone to guide and support you in the activities of the Challenge. The following activities work best when both you and your partner download the app and individually select particular sections.

 

Get the free relationship app below.


Day 1: Increase gratitude and kindness.


Here is a glimpse into what this challenge will look like.

The more couples look for opportunities to express appreciation, gratitude, and kindness to their partner in small ways every day, the more they admire and trust each other. Another great way to build kindness is to show your partner empathy, demonstrating that you understand them, their thinking and their feelings.

 

Activity A (15 minutes)

  • Open the Give Appreciation card deck.

  • Instructions: scroll through the many appreciation suggestions and pick five appreciation statements that you can read to your partner.

Tip- give a real example of why you picked that specific statement.

 

Activity B (15 minutes)

  • Open the Expressing Empathy card deck.

  • Instruction: each card contains phrases designed to help you empathise with your partner. Sometimes it is hard to find the right words to express empathy. Go through the deck together and read aloud the statements of empathy and discuss what statements would work for each other.

Tip- have fun with this one, if your partner says a particular statement does not give empathy don’t debate it just simply move to the next one. This activity is about building a supportive language together.

 

Day 2: Getting to know each other more.

 

In successful relationships couples really know each other well, they know each other’s likes, dislikes, dreams, fears, friends, enemies, challenges etc. This version of communication and understanding is referred to as a “love map”. Couples can stay updated with each other’s inner world by asking open-ended questions.

These love maps need to be updated regularly. On day 2, we have two activities to be completed to build and refresh your love maps. Open-ended questions can’t be answered with a simple yes or no, they require a more detailed reply. These types of questions are also a great way to get to know each other more, to show curiosity and interest in one another and to uncover hopes and dreams to deepen understanding.

 

Activity A (15 minutes)

  • Open the Love Map card deck.

  • Instructions: Get partner A to read out one question and get partner B to answer it. If your answers are correct fantastic if not, partner A will gently give you the correct answer. 

Tips- Remember this activity is about knowing each other better. It is not about who is right or wrong, so do not keep score.

Activity B (15 minutes)

  • Open the Open-Ended Questions card deck.

  • Instructions: take turns asking each other one question. If your partner doesn’t want to answer that question just pick another one.

Tips- Don’t be judgemental or critical as you listen to your partner's response. Instead, be your partner's cheerleader.

 

Day 3: Being there for each other (having each other’s backs)

 

Being there is about letting your partner know in small ways that you are there for them, that their feelings and needs are important to you and that they are taken into account. Prioritising time together, engaging in fun activities together can make small but positive changes in your overall connection and satisfaction of the relationship.

 

Activity A (15 minutes)

  • Open the Opportunity Cards card deck.

  • Instructions: Swipe through the cards until you find a suggestion you both want to do.

Tips- It is vital you have fun together as a couple, once you select an opportunity card make sure you plan and schedule the activity.

 

Activity B (15 minutes)

  • Open the Expressing Needs card deck.

  • Instructions: the more gentle, less demanding way you can express your needs to your partner, the more your partner can be there for you to understand you and have your back. Swipe through the deck and find a suggestion that reflects an unexpressed need you want to say to your partner and read it out in a gentle way.

Tips- When you hear your partners needs, look for a way to have that need met rather than defending or dismissing it.

 

Day 4- Dreaming the future

Holidays are a great opportunity to have conversations about what is important for you, your relationship and your family. Creating a shared sense of vision and purpose about how we move through the world together strengthens relationship stability and promotes development and growth.

 

Activity (30 minutes)

  • Open the Rituals of Connection card deck.

  • Instructions: Select a card and discuss whether you would like to incorporate the ritual in your relationship and if yes plan how this occurs

Tips- Make sure you talk about why this ritual is important to you and how both of you can commit to making it happen.

 

Having an open mind to bond and strengthen your relationship with the assist of this app, reflects that you are already making strides for the longevity of your relationship. As the above challenges are for 30 minutes sets, be sure to set a timer on your phone to ensure you are not underdoing or overdoing the simple instructions. Finally, it can be extremely positive to self-reflect on how these activities made you feel individual. Make a cup of tea and write down all the feelings that these activities provoked within you and how you felt it went with your partner.

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By submitting this form the information provided will be added to the RIA database and used to provide you with helpful hints on strengthening your relationship and advance notice on upcoming events and workshops in your state. All information will be kept private and not used in any way other than stated here.

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By submitting this form the information provided will be added to the RIA database and used to provide you with helpful hints on strengthening your relationship and advance notice on upcoming events and workshops in your state. All information will be kept private and not used in any way other than stated here.