Written By: Gary Hayre, MCP, Registered Clinical Counsellor
The holidays have just passed and with Valentine’s Day coming up, there’s a good chance you haven’t had much time to focus on yourself. There can be lots to do for others, so you may sometimes forget about what you need.
When you neglect your needs, this not only affects you, but also your partner. If you aren’t grounded, you may not be present enough to support your partner’s needs. This Valentine’s season, give your partner the greatest gift of all—a fully present you.
Self-care allows you to be more present with your partner’s needs
Self-care takes constant effort and should be taken seriously. By investing in yourself, you are cultivating positive behaviors that will extend into other parts of your life and your relationship.
Taking care of yourself means that you are more understanding, patient, and rested; all of which will make you more emotionally available to your partner.
Finding a good balance between loving yourself and loving your partner strengthens and unifies your relationship in a way nothing else can. Once you know how to give to yourself, you can give and take from others in a healthy way. You can communicate your needs more clearly, while being more receptive to your partner’s.
Taking care of yourself has a positive effect on your quality of life, which also affects the quality of the experiences you share with your partner.
Individual growth helps to enhance relationship growth
Having individual experiences can be as valuable to the relationship as shared experiences. Allowing yourself to go out and experience life without your partner always by your side provides an opportunity to share your new experiences, ideas, and thoughts with your partner when you reconvene.
Some of you may worry that it’s selfish to take time out for yourself. You have already spent the day at work, so you may want to spend the rest of your evening with your partner. However, the quality of this time declines if you aren’t present and grounded. So, trust that taking time out for self-care will help you feel more grounded and engaged when you come back to your partner.
Don’t let “me” time get in the way of us time
Making space for your individuality within your relationship does not mean you are exiting or avoiding the relationship. “Me” time should not be used as a method to escape difficult conversations or issues coming up in the relationship.
If you are using alone time to escape, you may want to consider how this may be a sign of unresolved issues and contemplate how to become more present to tackle difficult moments. Good “me” time respects your partner and the relationship by avoiding activities that may harm or disrupt the relationship or foster distrust.
Spending time alone can also help ground you; you can process things more clearly, and help the relationship move forward when it feels stuck.
“Me” time can allow you to reconnect with what’s important to you and can be used to enhance the connection you have with your partner.
What “me” time can look like
“Me” time does not have to mean taking an extended period of time away from your partner. It can come in many forms and can fit into any schedule. Even taking 30 minutes a day to connect with yourself can have long-lasting benefits to your relationship.
Below is a short list of examples of “me” time. This is not an extensive list. It is just a way to get you thinking what “me” time can look like. You can use these examples and expand the list to suit your own needs and interests.
- Going on a walk
- Talking to a friend
- Listening to music
- Practicing a hobby
- Talking to a therapist
- Meditating/Breathing exercises
- Exercising/Playing sports (with a team)
- Reflecting on your day
- Taking time to feel and process your emotions without distraction
Overall, me time is crucial to maintaining your wellbeing and building a more solid relationship with your partner. So start investing in yourself with some well-needed “me” time.
Contact Brentwood Counselling Centre today to see how we can support you in your self-care journey.