Most of us are exhausted by the demands of ever-dinging emails, social media apps and real life challenges of modern life. As a matter of fact, Google searches for the term “self care” has rapidly increased over the past year. When we are feeling drained everyone around us is affected, most of all our romantic partners. So if you want to have a successful relationship, you may first want to focus on self care because the way you care for yourself directly impacts the way you show up in your relationship.
Real Life Challenges Without Self Care
Suppose it was a long day at work and things didn’t go well. You feel completely frustrated because you missed an important deadline on a project and had to deal with the fallout, even though it was due to circumstances outside of your control. After work, you stop at the local grocery store and pick up a few things for dinner. The heat beating down on you in the parking lot adds to the weight of an already tough day.
Once home, you get to the door, your arms filled with the overstuffed bags of groceries, and you make your way inside to be greeted by the noise of the TV. And there, on the couch, sits your partner enjoying a restful moment!
You can feel your resentment rising. You set down the grocery bags and see that the breakfast dishes are still in the sink. Resentment becomes anger as you feel the pending explosion rising in your chest.
Related article: How to bust through relationship frustration
How Will Self Care Positively Impact This Situation?
You now have two choices: giving into your anger and frustration and letting it spill over onto your partner or taking a breath and going over your options.
But how can you stop yourself and remember to take that breath? How can you take control of the situation? You lay the groundwork for this first by taking care of yourself on a daily basis. To be in control, you need to feel grounded, rested, and aware.
And many of us are far from that. We feel stressed out, are juggling multiple tasks at once, and have a million demands on our time. And from that place, we feel out of control.
How Do You Practice Self Care?
Selfishness is the solution—not selfish in a way that harms others, but selfish in meeting our own needs first. Do you know what it is that you need to feel grounded, rested, and aware? For me, this means exercising daily, eating clean foods, journaling regularly, and sleeping enough. It also means that I keep my schedule sane and control how many activities I engage in outside of work. In order to make those things happen in my life, I have to defend them like a lion mother defends her cubs because life has a way of taking up any free time I may have.
When I feel grounded and rested, I may still experience a stressful day as described above. However, when I get home, I remember to breathe, set down the groceries, and ask my husband for help with dinner. He may have had a stressful day as well and may need a few minutes to relax before dealing with the kitchen. Rather than engaging in a vicious argument that ruins the rest of my day, I can turn things around and engage my husband in a respectful way.
To help you figure out how to stay on top of self care, I’ve created a FREE checklist for the busy woman, with which you can quickly establish which area you may need to focus on.