Just another reason why self-care isn’t selfish…

Couples who have a healthy relationship know that they need this one counter-intuitive thing to ensure the longevity of their relationship: Self-care.

In our fast-paced society, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. You are busy taking care of everybody else. You have a job and deadlines to meet.

This doesn’t leave much time for your own self-care plan.

Self-care doesn’t have to be difficult

Unfortunately, many people feel guilty when they think of self-care, coming from an old thought pattern. It’s time to throw out that old thought pattern and replace it with a new one.

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In fact, self-care can improve your romantic relationship.

I talk about self-care a lot in my practice. When people think of self-care tips and ideas, they often think of getting a mani/pedi or a massage.

Those are nice things, but self-care is also taking care of your mind, body, and spirit. It’s something that you practise daily and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

For example:

  • Take 10 minutes in the morning and meditate.
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of rest.
  • Eat nutrient-rich foods and drink plenty of water.
  • Watch a funny video.
  • Take breaks during the day.
  • Go for a walk.

Surround yourself with positive people. Start by reviewing the social supports available to you. If necessary, start developing a positive social support system. Approach each day with purpose. Be productive by outlining daily structure.

No task is too small to feel good about and each step can be important to reach goals that you develop.

Avoid being self-critical. Be kind to yourself. Use positive self-talk to reassure yourself. Allow yourself to see that there are always choices.

Most relationship advice doesn’t take into account self-care for both partners. So, if you want a healthy relationship, be sure that you and your partner build time into your schedule for it.

Instead of practising your self-care alone, practice self-care with your partner. Studies have found that it will increase relationship satisfaction.

With that said, here are five ways to follow self-care tips and create healthy relationships:

1. Sexual satisfaction will increase

Couples engaged in sex more often are more likely to achieve orgasm. They even become more sexually adventurous and also communicate more about sex.

Not only is this good for your relationship, but it’s also good for your overall health.

Couples feel more inclined to communicate more when they take care of themselves

2. Communication skills will improve

Couples feel more inclined to communicate more when they take care of themselves. When they start talking about their day with each other, one person becomes the speaker and the other is the listener.

By talking and taking turns, they both feel heard in the relationship.

3. Career satisfaction increases

Studies have found that people who practise self-care feel more satisfied at work.

So, when couples practse self-care together, they both perform better at work. A couple with a good self-care plan shows improvement in their attitudes.

4. It reduces stress and leads to better health

Unhealthy relationships cause and continue to create stress in a partnership.

A good self-care plan that you practise with your partner will reduce the stress in your life. In the beginning, you may feel that you don’t have time for a self-care plan. But, when you start one, you will find you have more time.

Studies have found that stress is the number one killer out there. When you have a self-care plan that you engage in daily, you will have better health. This means a decrease in illness for you and your partner.

5. You will have more fun together

At the beginning of a relationship, fun is often the priority. But, over time, it moves lower and lower on the list. You buy a house, you have children, and you get a promotion at work. The next thing you know, the fun has slipped away.

This is common in the couples I see in my practice. You need to prioritise fun, again, in your relationship, because it’s true what they say: Couples who have fun together, stay together.

So pick out some self-care ideas and habits that you can start today with your partner. By doing this, you will feel better, emotionally and physically. You don’t have to break the bank. Start small like reading a book together or going for a walk together.

Now that you know how to have a healthy relationship by learning how to take care of yourself, you can reduce the stress in your life and lead the happy and successful life that you have always wanted with your partner.

Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping people in San Mateo, CA who are looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on Lessons for Love to learn more about her services and expertise.

This article was originally published at Lessons for Love. Reprinted with permission from YourTango.

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