Ahhhhh, the lazy days of summer - when life seems to slow down just a bit and we get that much-deserved R&R. But how many of us actually do slow down? How often do you take the time to recharge your batteries?
You might be wondering why a newsletter about relationships is focusing on self-care. Doesn't that sound a little selfish?
Quite the contrary. A great relationship starts with giving from an abundant heart and you can't give what you don't already have. The habit of good self-care is a key ingredient to a great relationship.
The first step is to tune in to yourself so that you can begin to recognize and know what you need.
I tend to take a holistic approach when it comes to working with clients. I view each person's situation from a mind-body-spirit perspective. It's important to focus on all three to create a habit of personal self-care.
Right now, give yourself a few moments to get comfortable and ponder these questions:
- What aspect of my life needs more attention?
- Does my mind need more quiet time or a new hobby?
- Is there a good book I've been meaning to read?
- Does my body need more exercise, more sleep, nutritious food?
- Is there an exercise class I've been meaning to sign up for?
- Does my spirit need time to meditate or pray?
- Is my pattern of self-talk positive or negative?
- Have I given myself permission and time to play?
Once you learn to honor these needs the next step is to express them to your partner in a clear and assertive way. The Imago Dialogue that I teach my clients helps to create the safe space necessary for sharing these delicate needs and to feel comfortable with this process. When you and your partner take the time to listen, mirror, validate, and empathize with each other, a beautiful (and safe) connection emerges. You are better able to support each other in getting each of your needs met in a healthy way.
Reflecting on your own needs takes time and practice. As you slow down and begin to listen deeply, they will begin to emerge and your practice of holistic self-care will become second nature.
As you and your spouse begin to fill your own buckets, you'll be able to selflessly share this wonderful abundance with each other.
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