However, now it is time to renegotiate yourself back into the equation. Your self-care must be a priority. After all there is no way to love your mate, your children, your job, or your family if you are not here to do it. Doing those individual, life-affirming activities make you a whole, vibrant person – And what could be sexier than that? For those of you who have found a partner with whom you have the same passions you have hit the jackpot! For you life is minimally distracted because you both share the same activities and interests. Although I would still recommend that some individuation is still healthy. It keeps the relationship exciting and alive.
Now for the rest of you grappling with ways to stay balanced, this article is for you. I'd like to offer some quick tips to get you started on staying balanced at loving her and keeping you:
- First, develop a written self-care guide that includes the things you need to feel balanced. This plan is not about what you need to survive, but rather to thrive. Your self-care plan should have the following categories: health & wellness, financial, intellectual, social and spirituality. So that's a minimum of five categories, but feel free to add others as needed. Put at least one activity in each category that helps you destress, feel whole, happy and joyful.
- Sit down with your partner and very intentionally share your self-care plan. Let her know the ways she can support your need for balance and "me" time. You should also share the plan with your inner circle for support outside of your relationship too. The more people you have to affirm and reflect your need for balance back to you, the greater the chances of adherence to an overall wellness plan.
- Next ask your partner to create her own plan or intention for self-care. What is more loving than encouraging the health and wellness of your mate? It is a wonderful way to sustain your relationship and build trust. More importantly if your partner is threatened by your self-care, I might be concerned more than just a little bit. Self-care is not to be mistaken with self-centeredness nor selfishness, instead it is about self-preservation. Stress, being taken for granted, and overwhelm are the only rewards for martyrdom--Leave saving the world to the Universe, God, Buddha, Allah, or the wide array of other energies working toward that end. They are so much better at it than we.
- Schedule time for "me" and "we". Just like date night should be scheduled, so too should the time you spend being an individual. You can start with a monthly activity, or maybe you can go straight to weekly. Schedule a yoga class, meditation, hanging with the girls or bois, or maybe just being alone and reflecting. When you return you can share the experience, with enthusiasm, with your partner. She will love seeing you happy. It may take a few times to get beyond the separation anxiety that some of you may be feel. But trust me, it is okay... Breath and know that you are worth your own attention.
- Finally, continue to revisit and discuss individual self-care with one another. You will appreciate each other so much more.
It is my deepest hope that you explore these ideas with vigor. We all need YOU to be whole, well and happy. Encouraging that same well-being in your sweetie is the epitome of creating love. I honor you as you embark on your journey to loving more fully.
Imani Evans, MA