What sort of things do you celebrate in your life? Birthdays? Holidays? Promotions at work? How about closing on a house? Or painting a room? Would you celebrate after completing some garden work? What about just getting through a difficult Thursday?
In the next few weeks, my wife and I have a few things in the calendar that we have marked specifically as a ‘celebration’.
Our friends at the Marriage Foundation are celebrating their 10th anniversary!
After that my wife and I are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary!
Then again in June my in-laws are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary!
All these things are huge accomplishments and feel worthy of setting aside time and money to be celebrated. Which is why I wanted to do some research and write a little about celebrations.
An interesting thing happens to our brain when we celebrate. When we take the time to consciously celebrate something, endorphins (the feel-good chemicals) are released in our brains. This helps us build positive connections to the behaviours that we deemed worthy of celebrating. Endorphins boost our moods and perspective, and can help motivate us to keep pushing on when something is difficult.
The internet is full of great articles about celebrating the small things and the effect that can have on our wellbeing. In this article from Psychology Today the author writes about her practice of celebrating everything. She writes this about finding things to celebrate: “If you go looking hard enough, there always is.” What is something you can celebrate right now?
This blog however is not focused on celebrating ourselves (which is very important and you should do it), but on celebrating our partners.
If you are in a committed relationship you’ve got a secret weapon for encouragement — your partner! Has your partner ever encouraged you by recognising something you’ve done? Did they take a moment to compliment you and celebrate your accomplishment? Have you done this for your partner?
Here are some things to try this week to celebrate your partner:
Celebrate them publicly!
Even though some may not like the spotlight, praising your partner in front of others can really uplift them. It could be as simple as noticing how hard they worked to make dinner and voicing that in front of your guests, or your kids. Whatever it is they’ve accomplished it’s a good thing to bring attention to their effort and raise a glass in their honour.
Celebrate them when they don’t celebrate themselves.
Your partner may not feel as though what they have done is worth celebrating. They may not think getting through a hard meeting with their employee is worthy of celebration, but it is! Imagine how you would feel if your partner told you “Hey, I’m so proud of you. You made it through a really tough day at work and that deserves to be celebrated.” Take a moment to recognise the tough things they do, and celebrate them for getting through them!
Make a big deal out of big deals.
Many people play down their accomplishments as if they aren’t a big deal, but there are absolutely times to make a big deal out of big deals. Did your partner receive a promotion at work? Why not go away for the weekend to their favourite place? Are they turning 40? Rally their friends and family to affirm and celebrate them! There are millions of small things to celebrate in our lives, and a few big ones. So when those big ones arrive make sure your partner feels appropriately celebrated.
Don’t make the celebration about you.
Make sure not to let your celebrating your partner become about how great of a partner you are, focus on them and their accomplishments no matter how big or small.
It doesn’t matter how big or small, celebrating is important. Take time to celebrate your partner this week. Toast to their achievements. Post on social media about them. Whatever makes them feel loved and appreciated.
TIP — Toucan Together’s new Growing Module sets up some great conversations about strengthening your relationship as a couple. You’ll discover how to grow together through 5 common relationship challenges; explore 5 ingredients for a thriving relationship and find fresh perspectives for marriage (whether you’re married, living together or dating). You’ll also hear some great real stories from couples talking honestly and openly about their relationships. GET STARTED | LOG IN