How Practicing Self-Care Can Lead to a Stronger, Happier Relationship
Love, as it is most often defined, is a feeling shared between two people. Or, sure a person and an animal, because most of us will never love our partners as much as we love our dogs. Kidding. Kind of. But we focus on the love that is exchanged between people, the emotion that connects them. And there’s nothing wrong in thinking about love this way. Except that we forget how essential loving yourself is. Without that foundation, loving another is impossible.
Practicing self-care (and by extension, self-love) isn’t a one-dimensional practice. There are different extensions that all serve the same purpose. You need to care for yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. That means self-care isn’t just face masks and bubble baths - although if that’s what it looks like to you, that’s amazing - it’s also alone time, practicing hobbies, journaling, meditating, playing sports, spending time with friends, spending time outdoors, etc. It’s constantly shape-shifting because our needs, as individuals, are changing all the time.
What does it look like if you are in a relationship and don’t practice self-care?
Two words: expect burnouts.
Being in a committed relationship with someone, putting their needs before your own, championing their successes, supporting them through their failures, requires a lot of… energy. If you aren’t redirecting energy back to refueling yourself (especially if your partner isn’t providing equal support back to you) you will quickly and dramatically burn out - like a comet or a star. Even though you ARE a star, we don’t want you to burn out. So you need to stop, think of yourself, and refuel.
Be More Present
Worrying about the future or obsessing over the past both expend lots of useless energy that doesn't solve anything. Living in the ‘now’ is the antidote to so much anxiety, unnecessary stress, and tension. When you are fully present, you are giving yourself one of the biggest gifts there is: full awareness.
Stop, and breathe. Here’s your reminder to check in with yourself and your relationship. Click here and get started with the #1 relationship self care app for free.
Like cell phones, human beings need time to plug back into the power source and recharge our batteries. Often, that power source can be as simple as 10 minutes of silence. A period of quiet time. It doesn’t need to be a luxury beachfront vacation, although those never hurt, it simply needs to give you space to feel yourself fully, take a moment to recollect your thoughts, and refocus.
Befriend The Word ‘No’
Boundaries get a bad rap. They’re instruments for authentic connection, but too often we misunderstand them to be barriers that separate us from our partners. Not true! When you learn to say ‘no’ and exercise your own personal boundaries, you’re really protecting your partner and your closest loved ones. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true. You are your best self if you only say ‘yes’ to things you really want to do. So you’re happier, healthier, more engaged and more present when you do say yes - because you are weeding out the things that don’t totally serve you.
The TLDR: If you want the best relationship possible, you need to start with yourself. Loving yourself allows you to love your partner. Accepting yourself allows you to accept your partner. Taking care of yourself allows you to take care of your partner.
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