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We’ve all been spending a whole lot of time with our partners (and families) during the pandemic months—so much so that it’s easy to take them for granted. We settle into routines, get complacent about carving out quality time in lieu of distracted time with each other, and let the small stuff rub us the wrong way.

But as easy as that habit was to settle into, it’s just as easy to break. Whether you’re making your partner’s favorite meal, stocking their drawers with clean laundry while they work, or surprising them with a small gift, showing appreciation is so important and infuses life into your otherwise stagnant routine. This month, warm your partner’s and kids’ hearts with one (or all!) of these tiny gestures.

surprise delivery
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Surprise Them with a Delivery

It’s always nice to be surprised with a little gift that shows you notice and care. The next time you see that your partner could benefit from a better container to organize office papers, or they talk about that candy they were obsessed with during childhood, or they mention a book they want to read ASAP, pick it up online and don’t tell them about it. Let it show up to the doorstep as an anonymous gift (which you can share is your doing after that initial surprise).

Sponsored helping to do the laundry
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Do Their Least Favorite Chore

Partners especially can feel like it’s all work and no play right now. After all, options to get out of the house, go out to eat, go on vacation, are all currently limited. To allow your partner a little more time to relax, show them you care by doing a chore while they’re on work calls. Maybe your spouse struggles with the amount of laundry your family has to do on a daily basis. Not only could you help by stocking the drawers with fresh socks and T-shirts, you can also pick-up a new gentle laundry detergent, like All Free Clear Clean & Care. Made with a fabric smooth formula, which contains keratin and vitamin E, this detergent smooths fibers to promote elasticity. It’s also the #1 brand recommended by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin.

paint night in the backyard
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Set a (Play)date

It’s important to have quality time, which is dedicated, unrushed time with the people you love. Set up a date for you and your partner, which involves the kids. Maybe you all do a paint and pour together outside, creating landscapes of the backyard together—you and your S.O. get the wine, your kids get juice! Or maybe it’s a board game night, where you teach your kids your favorite games from childhood. Get creative…the only rule is no phones.

romantic touch
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Don’t Forget to Engage in Touch

Romantic touch is so important, and by that, I don’t mean sex. To show your partner extra love, make an effort to reach out and engage in intimate forms of touch as much as you can. Put your hand on your spouse’s knee. Grab their hand spontaneously while you’re walking. Kiss them on the cheek when you go back to work for a few hours. Hug as often as you can. It’s healthy to have physical touch in your life to communicate compassion.

talking at the table
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Give Them a Space to Open Up

Your spouse might be worried about finances and physical health. Your kids might be sad they won’t be returning to school to see their friends. No matter what the situation, we need to create enough space for the people we love to open up. To help this process, ask probing questions. To your partner: “How are you feeling about your job right now?” “Can I help take anything off your plate?” “You seem a little agitated; can I help you work through anything?” This is such a huge gesture.

Don’t forget your kids, as well. Ask them about any hobbies they were looking forward to that are now on hold. Let them know it’s okay to feel upset or disappointed, and if there’s anything you can do to help the rest of the year be more fun at home. (Let them brainstorm ideas.) Paying special attention to your kids’ wants and needs lets them know they are seen and that you love them.

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