Tend to yourself before you look at others
Think about the time when you are on an airplane ready for take off and you hear over the intercom that in case of an emergency, air masks will drop….and parents to first put the air masks on themselves, and then put it on the baby. This concept is that you can’t save your baby if you don’t get your own oxygen. Babies need parents to be alive and taken care of so the baby can be tended to. This concept is the same for relationships. We have to tend to ourselves, make sure we are feeling good and emotionally stable, so that we can tend to the relationship. In order to save a marriage, we have to be living and breathing in a healthy and strong manner — by taking care of yourself, you will improve your relationship.
The more you feel confident in your own skin, the more the confidence will seep out your pores. Here are 5 Elements of Self Care:
- Physical: Care for yourself physically by exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy foods, and limiting the unhealthy foods. If you drink on a regular occasion, cut down or put it on the back burner for now. Physical care doesn’t simply mean eat healthy and working-out, but it also means take time for you physically. For example, spend extra attention on your own personal hygiene, more effort on your hair, spraying perfume/cologne, flossing, get more sleep, or shaving more often. The more you care for yourself, not only will you hold yourself in a more confident manner, but the more your partner will notice you are taking extra effort to look good for them.
- Mentally: Often we use our brain solely for work or for the family and that we become brain-dead by the end of the day. It is vital to take time to decompress and relax your mind. Feed your mind with something mentally stimulating that gets your mind excited, such as read a good book, learn about a new topic, or educate yourself about a topic that you have wanted to learn about. The more mentally satisfied you are, the more it impacts the way you can relate with others.
- Emotionally: Take time to emotionally improve your mood. The more stressed and overwhelmed you are, the harder it is for your partner to connect with you. The mood can automatically drive a wedge in between the bond. Take time to decompress your emotions, regulate your mood, and slow down your reactions. Your JOB is to regulate your mood. If your emotions aren’t regulated, then your partner isn’t able to see that you are safe place to connect with. Calm your nerves, decompress, and let out your steam in a productive manner.
- Spiritually: Feed your soul with your spirituality….and this doesn’t necessarily mean “religious.” Find a way to include your spirituality by meditations, prayer, attending church, or connecting with mother-nature.
- Relationally: Relationships all need nurturing, not just your intimate relationship, but your relationships with others. Nurture your heart by improving your relationships with your children, friends, and family. Make sure that you have a balance in your relationships, yet setting healthy boundaries.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653