Take Care of Yourself
Nobody will take better care of you than you. You are in complete control of your life. Find your own solutions, don't take on more than you can, accept imperfection and practice flexibility.
Self-check your 4 pillars: mental, physical, spiritual and intellectual health - how you doin'? There's a good chance you're under the weather because one or more of those pillars isn't holding up. Make those changes first.
Find Your Own Solutions
You may need to seek some professional help and that's entirely okay, I even encourage it greatly! However, to start, you can find a solution to probably more than one situation yourself.
I'd say nobody likes to hear someone continuously complain without at least suggesting a solution. It's completely okay to be negative, angry, disappointed, sad, mellow, nostalgic... whatever it is, but at some point, you ought to take ownership and start thinking of a way to get back on your feet.
So for whatever latest situation you faced, identify the emotions you felt and run back to the core "why". Why do you feel that way with regards to this situation, truly? What is it? Be the most honestest (yep, that's intended). When you've got why, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what would help fix this, whether you can do it yourself or you need your partner to partake.
For example, your partner calls you from the car and says he's with two colleagues and they're coming home for a beer. You're on speakerphone so you say "oh cool, that's great!" but as soon as the call ends, you're angrily mumbling to yourself while cleaning up for their arrival... "It's late, I'm tired." Is it really the issue though? Why are you not happy with this news? Why is it triggering all these negative emotions? Maybe you're tired, but there's something else. Find out why and build your own solution from there. Soon you realize that it comes down to having a say in who comes over and when. What can make you feel better?
You discuss this with your partner and agree that you both ask before inviting people over. If that seems impossible to accomplish, you could always greet the party with a smile and then isolate yourself in the bedroom to watch a movie in bed while they joke around in the living room. It's a free world indeed. Tradeoff in relationships is key.
Don't Take Responsibility For Your Partner, Focus On You
You and your partner can both make your own decisions and assume the consequences. His problems are his, and yours are yours. If he decides to go to bed late and complain about being tired the next day, that's on him. If she eats chocolate everyday for a month and complains she's gained weight, that's on her. Stop making it a mission to improve the life of the other.
Just like you shouldn't take responsibility for your partner, don't let your partner take responsibility for you. If you have an issue about something that concerns a third party and you're complaining to your partner, they are not the one responsible for fixing it. You are. Don't let them take the lead. You deserve to fix your own problems and feel empowered.
Start by improving your own life. Focus on you first.
However, I should make a quick side note here, there's a clear and obvious exception to this: if the decision made by your partner affects you directly, then there's a discussion to be had. Same goes if your decision affects your partner.
Take A Break, Not Everything Has To Work Perfectly
It's so easy to place blame for anything less than perfect in the relationship. Whether you tend to blame your partner or he/she tends to do it, stop it!
When things work, and your chemistry flows and you're in love like on day 1, enjoy it. Make the most of it. Be ridiculously cheesy and make plans and projects, dream big and let it lift you up.
When things don't work, you can't stand each other and you're thinking "I don't know if this is what I want", go do something else!!
There's no one rule or law that says you have to hang out with your partner when he or she is driving you crazy. Take a break! I mean, when has it become necessary to do absolutely everything together? When has it been terrible to spend a week or two apart? When has it been a dishonour to say "I love you but right now, I need a break from you, you're driving me mad." A well-founded relationship surely can withstand a short break!
Screw what people will think. Honestly.
If you ask me, it's healthy as can be. If you're being human and being yourself, there's a good chance you'll need that break (and your partner will too) more than once in your time together.
It's okay to want to distance yourself from things you don't like about your partner or what he/she does. The worst thing you could do is hang around and start making him/her feel bad about just being themselves.
Don't be so scared of imperfection. Don't be so scared of falling out of love. Don't be so scared of losing connection. Everything can heal if you want it to. Things can change, it's okay. Falling out of love can also mean to fall back in love. Imperfection means real and authentic, all the more exciting and interesting!
You'll come to realize that everything changes and evolves. People change their minds. People grow and mature. Your body changes, it ages. Your relatives and your friends will change too, some will stay, others will go.
Ride the wave with your partner. He/she will change too. You will too. Holding him/her and yourself accountable is a good and responsible thing to do, but every turn deserves to be taken for experience's sake - all it needs is a bit of explanation.
Next: build yourself up. Sign up here if you wish to be notified by email. Nothing else will be sent to you, promise!
This article is part 2/3. Here is part 1.
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