Today I want to write about topic that I think is very important when you are working on improving your relationship. Too many people work so hard at getting things right with their partners, that it’s their only focus. They lose concentration at work. They lose interest in friends and engaging in pleasurable activities. Sometimes they forget to eat or they eat too much. Becoming a couch potato isn’t all that uncommon. Self compassion is totally absent.
The importance of self-care
If any of this sounds familiar to you, I want you to think about something very important. While you’re working hard to turn things around in your relationship, you really need to take good care of yourself. You need to shine a light on self-care by asking yourself, “What have I done recently to keep myself healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually?”
If you have a hard time answering this question, you will undoubtedly feel drained, depressed, unhappy, anxious and lifeless. You are probably ignoring important things and people in your life. You will challenge your immune system and dull your zest for life. And, in so doing, you are also lessening the chances that your partner will see in you the wonderful, spirited person you really are. So, it’s time for a change.
What you can do
Starting tomorrow, promise yourself that you will make YOU a bigger priority. Get off the couch and exercise. Do it every day. Research has shown that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants for people who are feeling down or even clinically depressed. Make sure your exercise is aerobic. Pay more attention to breathing deeply. Deep breaths are calming. I’m sure you could use a sense of peace in your life. And while you’re calming yourself down, yoga and meditation have proven to be effective methods for reducing stress and increasing a sense of well-being. There are classes wherever you go.
And if you don’t like the idea of taking a class, you can learn how to meditate right at home…even in your p.j.’s. Or get a yoga DVD at the store or library. There’s no excuse for sitting still or pacing nervously. Do something constructive. If you’re eating too much or too little, don’t give yourself permission to continue this unhealthy habit. Nourish your body sensibly. Eating right fortifies your strength and your spirit. And don’t forget a massage. It will fill up your senses.
Some people have told me that they find peace in keeping journals. If you’re the writing sort, pull out a notebook and start writing your feelings. Do it every day. Research shows that writing can be incredibly healing.
If you are a people-oriented person but the mood to be with others hasn’t been striking you lately, push yourself out the door. Remind yourself that there is a world outside of your current uncomfortable situation. It will be good for your soul and your self-esteem.
If you are spiritual, make sure you spend some quiet time in prayer, contemplation or meditation. You will find solace in your faith.
If you can’t look after yourself, no-one else can either
Okay, you might be saying to yourself, “I know all of this stuff, it’s common sense.” But I will tell you that, in my experience, when people get stressed out, they often stop being loving to themselves. I just want to remind you that you deserve love. Even if things are really tough at home, you still deserve to be cared for and cherished. If you’re not getting this from your partner right now, you need to do it for yourself. Just consider this message a gentle reminder to be nice to you.
Watch Dr. Kristin Neff, an expert in self-compassion talk about how to start being self-compassionate.
And finally, if talking things out helps you clear your head and feel more centered, call a friend or relative to whom you haven’t spoken in a long time. Or if you feel that your situation is too personal, consider talking to a relationship counsellor or coach who can help you feel better about yourself and approach your life and your relationship more proactively.
Whatever you decide to do, do it tomorrow (or today!). Better times are right around the corner…
You deserve the best trained relationship coaches if you’re planning to invest time and money in your relationship. If you’re not ready to book an appointment, call us on 0421 961 687 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to discuss how we may be able to assist you.
[2009 Copyright – Michele Weiner-Davis. All rights reserved.]