Today I want to talk to you about one last aspect of self-care, that of your relationships. I spent a wonderful day replenishing my own energy yesterday with my brother and his gorgeous family. We had time outside, long and meaningful conversations, giggles and cuddles with the kids and of course, a picnic. Perfect.
One of the conversations we had was around the lessons we learn from people who come and go in our lives. It got me thinking about how much I value people in my life and the lessons they have to teach me. I spent some time reflecting and researching on my thoughts until finally, I realised it was self-care in relationships I was thinking about.
We have already established that self-care is important particularly if you are burned out or unmotivated but what about in our relationships? We all have interactions with the people around us – from the postman to our parents and we learn from them. Some relationships are easier than others and each one teaches something – if we are willing to learn.
5 tips to practice self-care in your relationships:
Relationships can be complex and hard work sometimes. Practising and maintaining self-care in a relationship ensures we have supportive and healthy relationships. Here are my five tips for practising self-care in your relationships:
- Boundaries – it’s ok to say no and to expect for your boundaries to be respected. It must of course be reciprocated. Set up appropriate boundaries for each relationship – this might be how much you open up to how often you interact. Put yourself first; be aware of the energy that you get/give to each relationship.
- Open communication – honesty is key. Saying what you mean so there can be no ambiguity. It’s ok to ask questions if you are unsure and learn which battles are worth the fight. You should be clear on what you need for your own self-care – what support do you need from the other person?
- Respect – listening, kindness, commitment to each other and to acts e.g. turning up on time etc. These are all part of being in a respectful relationship. Safety is also important, everyone has the right to be mentally, emotionally and physically safe in a relationship.
- Realistic expectations – it’s so easy to mismanage our own and others’ expectations in a relationship. Consider the other person’s role and the limits of that role. Remember each relationship is different e.g. don’t expect the same intimacy from co-workers as your partner. Relationships change and so do situations, learn to adjust and be as understanding and as flexible as possible.
- Every relationship is a mirror – whether it is seeing the qualities you like about someone or those you don’t like, we see our behaviour in those we interact with. The outside world simply reflects our inner beliefs about ourselves. If you find yourself irritated by someone’s behaviour, take a moment to examine why you feel that way and make a conscious choice on how to act.
Everyone is mirror image of yourself; your own thinking come back at you – Byron Katie
As always, I hope you find this useful and if you have any ideas, comments or suggestions please post them below.