Valentine’s Day is around the corner; just walk into any store and you will be reminded with, candies, pillows and about just anything heart shaped.  We get caught in the frenzy about buying a perfect gift.  Stressing out if our loved one will like the gift we thought it is perfect; it will express our love.  What if, besides buying a gift the most important thing to do is to step back and ask this question: WHAT CAN I DO TODAY TO MAKE MY SPOUSE/PARTNER FEEL LOVED AND APPRECIATED?  Often time we take each other for granted.  Forget the little things that made us so happy and excited when we were dating.  With time we lose our temper, our spouse/partner is annoying, boring etc. and we ask ourselves “what happened”?  The answer is: we became complacent, taking each other for granted.  Relationships are constantly evolving and we have to work on them to keep them fully alive, exciting and fulfilling.

Relationships are important part of who we are and relate to the world.  We strive to feel loved (one of the basic human needs) and connected to other people.


Strong and healthy relationships are foundation of good health and well being.  There are countless studies proving that strong relationships are directly connected to good health, , positive attitude, better work performance, longer life and overall well being.  Being isolated or in a dysfunctional relationship is related to higher number of health risks, like: high blood pressure, obesity, depression, early death, shorter life span, lower productivity and self esteem.

One of the biggest challenges of modern families is to stay connected and find quality time for each other.  Research states that the healthiest, longest-living people in the world all have something in common: they put their families first.  I cannot stress enough the importance of spending time together, and expressing love and compassion to one another.

How many times you see families walking together, but completely “absent and distant” from each other by staring at their cell phone?  Often times I wonder do they behave the same way at home?

Of course, the same practices apply to close friends as well. This is especially important if you don’t have living family, or have experienced difficult circumstances, such as abuse, that would make it difficult for you to connect with your relatives.

Few tips on how to restore damaged relationships:

  1. Learn to forgive and let go
  2. Practice gratitude
  3. Be vulnerable
  4. Communicate your feelings openly
  5. Appreciate the smallest things
  6. Accept other’s weaknesses and don’t try to “fix” them
  7. Create rituals together.
  8.  Spend quality time together.
  9.  Be a good listener
  10.  Manage conflict; never go angry to bed
  11.  Take responsibility for your own actions



On Valentine’s Day try to do this simple, short and free exercise.  It is very powerful and you will be glad you did it.

On a piece of paper write down 10 things you like about your spouse/partner.  In the morning find a quiet place for only two of you.  Tell him/her how much you love and appreciate him/her and read the list.



With love,


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