It can be so tough to get out for date night with your spouse. You have to find a night that works for both of you- no meetings, kids’ softball games, or engagements with friends. If you have children, you have to find (and pay) a trusted babysitter. As a mom of three kids four and under, with all our family four or more hours away, I totally get it.
Sometimes, my husband Chris and I have to make do with at-home date night, which can be lovely. But when we are able to leave the house for a date, that is special in a totally different way. Here are some reasons I really encourage you to put in the effort to get out for a date together every now and then.
1. Keeping date night shows your spouse that you prioritize him or her.
Choose a date on the calendar, and don’t let anything else get in the way of that special time you have chosen to spend together. Your husband or wife is the most important person in your life- show them that!
2. Dates are a great chance to learn something new about your spouse.
I already know what Chris likes on his sandwiches and how he likes his eggs cooked. But if we went out for dim sum or Ethiopian food, I bet we would both learn something new about one another’s taste! I love that there’s always something new to learn about your spouse, whether you have been married just a year or 50 years.
3. Getting out of the house can make us take a step back and look at bigger-picture stuff.
At home, Chris and I often chat about the day-to-day: funny things our toddlers said, what we need from the grocery store, etc. But when we break the routine and change up our setting a little, it’s different. We step back and examine how our marriage is going, how parenting is going, how life as a whole is going. We can encourage one another on the journey, and reevaluate our routines where necessary. This is really important for us to do every month or so!
4. Dates help us make new memories.
Don’t get me wrong, I love lying on the couch watching Brooklyn 99 with Chris, but we rarely tell stories that start, “Remember that one night, watching Netflix?” When we get out of the house, we can make memories together and bond over new experiences. This is especially true if we don’t just go out for dinner but opt for something more unique instead. For example, we have enjoyed antique shopping, nature walks, and live performances together. Some of these have been cheap or even free, but we had so much fun and we still love reminiscing about those times months or years later.
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Caitrin Bennett is a stay-at-home Catholic mama and aspiring author who loves sitting on the beach with a frozen margarita. She blogs about married saints and Catholic marriage at holiermatrimony.com. Caitrin lives wherever the Coast Guard sees fit (currently, North Carolina) with her husband of five years, Chris, and their three young children.
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
In the past, I wrestled with this concept a bit… even though I'm a faithful person, supernatural trust and surrender are not easy. For most of my adult life I thought, if I want something to happen, I need to hustle constantly. But that always ended up being the hard way. What's more reassuring? You're the only one responsible for all.the.things in your life and business or you have help?
I have discovered that peace, joy, and achievement can all work together. To put it in the simplest terms, it comes down to how I begin and end my day. If you're feeling like you can never rest because your to-do list is too long and for some reason it's all important, try one or all three of these tools:
1. A nightly brain dump.
Get it all out of your head and onto paper, put it on your nightstand, then get some rest. First thing in the morning, reread your list. Your brain does a lot of repair work at night - ever felt like you solved a problem overnight? After you've read your list with fresh eyes, ask God what He wants you to work on for the day. Then focus on that one thing for the day. This simple but effective tool works because you have the choice to renew your mind and choose your input before your day even begins. Divine intervention helps too.
2. Time block your schedule.
Designate blocks of time on your schedule for family, work, and play or rest. For me, this means while my boys are in school I meet with clients and get some “alone” time in. Once I pick them up at school, it's time to be present for them through dinner.
3. Give your day a theme.
Try focusing on one thing per day. For example, Mondays focus on personal development, Wednesdays only wash towels and sheets, Fridays follow-up and catch up from the week. You get the idea…
Which one will you try? Let me know in the comments or better yet, rest. I’ve planned a retreat just for this. Join me.
So, I haven't been following my own advice lately... Between wrapping up our first year of homeschooling, coaching, trainings, baseball games and practices, and missing my mom, I need some extra rest and I haven't been taking it. The other night when I accepted this and reflected on letting myself get fried, I realized I hadn't written out my evening gratitude list for a few weeks. I love this as a nightly routine because it gets me off the screen, it's a gentle way to reflect on my day, and I always manage to find the joy no matter what... Good news is it was simple for me to begin again. I picked up my journal and made my list. I don't write a novel, it's usually bullet points. The next morning I came across the following quote in a devotional a good friend gave me...
BOOM. I know I may not win some of you over with this next thought but... Getting burnt out is a choice. There I said it. Okay, so it happened. Now what? Here's what helps me rekindle my flame...
1. Surrender. Accept that doing all.the.things is not realistic nor healthy. It’s also okay to not be good at everything! If you’re on social media on any given day you’re bombarded with what you should be doing and it’s easy to fall into the comparison game. Time to let Jesus take the wheel. Here’s a powerful prayer called the Surrender Novena. Whether you pray or not, I encourage you to read the words, these are universal worries and there is one answer.
2. Go take a nap. You can’t even think straight when you’re tired so stop pretending staying up a little longer to finish that one thing will make your a productive superstar. Not getting the right amount of asleep means you’re elevating the stress hormone, cortisol. This can contribute to weight gain, “foggy brain”, compromising your immune system, and messing with your mood. Hmm, sound about right? Now that I’m a mom, I get why when I went to look for my mom, I started in her bedroom.
3. Sit in the sun. Go outside! Get some fresh air. Your body produces Vitamin D and serotonin when you’re in the sun. Vitamin D helps strengthen bones, and aids in preventing cancer and certain skin conditions. Serotonin helps boost your mood and helps you feel calm and focused. Wow, our bodies are amazing! Celebrate this by stepping outside and appreciating the beauty around you as well as your own.
4. Make an appointment with yourself. I’m a big fan of scheduling self-care, actually writing it down in my planner. I am quick to brush off reading, a foot soak, or even scheduling a dentist appointment because there is always something more productive to do. So, I block time on my calendar to take care of myself. How productive are you really if you’re giving the world what’s left of you? If you can brush yourself off so easily, think of how your family, friends, and co-workers feel when they can tell they’re getting what’s left of you…? Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Your mind, body, and soul are absolutely worth the investment.
5. Say “no”. Give yourself permission to s l o w down.
The next time your flame is a flicker, stop and ask yourself, “are my choices bringing me closer to or further from the life I want to build?” What works for you when you’re burnt out? Share it in the comments and help someone else...
I coach you to transform your life one simple choice at a time! I'm a proud boymom and licensed Ziglar Life Coach. Tea, big earrings, living a non toxic lifestyle, and creative evangelization are some of my loves...