Is Self-Care an Unconquered Challenge in My Relationship?
In 2003, I wrote a book titled, “Choose Yourself: A Journey Toward Personal Fulfillment for Women”. I remember being invited to speak at a women’s conference in California when something unexpected occurred. Waiting to be introduced, a gentleman walked past me, saw the book title and commented, “Huh, that’s selfish!” Beyond my initial shock, his inaccurate understanding confirmed “Choose Yourself” was a necessary and timely message. Twelve years later, many of us still struggle to make our self-care needs a priority. The conflict to not see them as self-indulged, selfish, or narcissistic is still very real. In the areas of friendship, love, parenting, career, and family, we can all see un-seized opportunities when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Each requiring regular check-ups to ensure we’re being good to ourselves, the love department is one in which we often need a bit more help. There are six check-ins that will do just that, helping you become even more of a self-care advocate that you can be proud of. Your Health, His Health… Part of taking care of yourself requires being real about your health. What screenings should you be taking at this point in your life? What family history do you need to be aware of? Is your yearly womanly exam scheduled or completed? What about his health? Unhealthy partners can quickly become personal stressors of our own. Your ability to see prevention for you and him as a strategic part of caring for yourself can only serve as a win-win for you both.
If You’re Not Connecting, You’re Not Connecting… Part of being a mature woman is the willingness to embrace and understand what makes us feel desirable, loved, and connected on a sexual and intimate level. Do you know what makes you feel sensual, acknowledged, and satisfied as woman? Does he know? This is not about saying, “He should know.” It’s about saying, “He knows” because you’ve shared what makes you feel safe, appreciated, sexy, and secure. Connection on this level will always be critical to your self-care and growth together.
Take a Joy Break… Sometimes we forget there were people, places, and things that brought us joy before we were a couple. Giving up all of those things for a relationship is rarely the healthiest option. Instead, we have to choose to see positive points of joy as good for us thus good for our relationships. Whether it’s catching up with a girlfriend, taking in a chick flick, packing a favorite lunch to eat at a favorite location, or having some tub time with candles and music, there’s a joy break waiting with your name on it.
Identify Couples of Accountability… Good self-care will always require a necessary support system to maintain a healthy union. Identifying one to two couples who you can agree have the best interest of your relationship at heart and enough wisdom to walk you through the tough times is a smart move with significant benefits.
Eat Daily… What are you feeding your spirit? Being spiritually centered will always be key to making healthy partnerships, whether it’s prayer, the Word, a devotional or praise time. When we seek the Word as our daily bread, it shifts how we relate to anxiety, unexpected circumstances, frustration, disappointment, insecurities, anger, and uncertainties that are inevitable in any relationship.
Mirror Updates… Instead of looking in the mirror to put something on or take something off, take a moment to look in the mirror and actually look at her. What do you see? Are you moving in purpose? How does He want to use the reflection looking back at you? One of the best ways to care for ourselves in relationships is to make sure we stay aligned with our God-given purpose. Knowing we’re moving in the divine direction brings a peace that not only personally fortifies, but it extends throughout the relationship in ways that fortify its foundation.