Relationships are a science -- or, at least, understanding what makes them work is a science. It turns out that there are many independent variables that all factor into whether or not a relationship is a success or a failure. One of those variables is self-care. A new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology shows that higher levels of self-care lead to greater levels of satisfaction in a relationship. We know how difficult it can be to make time for yourself -- after all, many of our clients work hard and can never seem to find time to unwind. But neglecting that precious time can seriously hurt your relationships. That's why we want to stress the importance of being kind to yourself and taking some “me time” at least once a month. The happiness of your relationship could depend on it. Here’s what we recommend:
Part of a healthy lifestyle is taking care of yourself – and that starts in the kitchen. Healthy meals are more than just salad: try Cuban chicken and black beans with a mango salsa or these easy rainbow spring rolls with a light peanut ginger sauce.
Take a Walk
Our matchmakers in NYC and the east coast know just how refreshing it can be to take a walk in the crisp, cool autumn air. The key is to keep this walk all to yourself. Don’t invite anyone to come along, and give yourself permission to stop at your favorite café or bakery on your way home. After all, this time is about you. Treat yourself!
Read a Book
That’s right: read an honest-to-goodness piece of fiction. Don’t bother with textbooks, self-help or anything that might be construed as “work.” This is time for you, so read something you enjoy! Pick up a cheesy romance novel, sci-fi story or some classic Shakespeare. Find some alone time, brew a cup of tea or your favorite brand of coffee, and enjoy a few hours in another world.
Discover New Interests
Self-care is about doing things you already love, but it’s also about trying new things and falling in love with life all over again. Take time to discover new things you might never have tried before. This is the perfect time to book a skydiving trip or hike the Amazon. Pick something you’ve always wanted to do and make that dream come alive!
Many successful people are also people-pleasers, but this can come at the detriment of your personal life. Give yourself permission to say “no” or delegate certain tasks in order to create more time for yourself. This is crucial for time management, which equals more time for your personal life.
According to Florida State University’s Dr. James McNulty and PhD candidate Heather Maranges, “up to one-third of married or cohabiting adults report that sleep problems burden their relationship.” Their research has uncovered that even small sleep deficiencies can lead to increased dissatisfaction in relationships. Our best advice is to stick to a routine that allows for an early bedtime and keep technology out of the bedroom! Research also indicates cell phone use before bed could lead to reduced quality of sleep, which has a similar effect.
Self-care is an important part of the equation that makes up your relationship. Give yourself some alone time, do something that reinvigorates you, and return to your relationship with a fresh perspective. Tell us about yourself today so we can start your journey toward a relationship you will love.