How to Take Care of Yourself

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In my last blog, I told you how I stepped away from this to take a little bit of time for myself while my life happened. It was unplanned and necessary. Yet, a little dose of care and grace with myself made me feel refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for whatever life was ready to throw my way again. 

 

Today, I want to chat a bit about taking care of ourselves and why it is important for everyone, especially those in ENM (ethical non-monogamous) relationships. 

 

All relationships can be challenging at times. There are ups and there are downs. We battle with our partners and we battle with ourselves. Sometimes, our obligations become overwhelming. All of this can add up and taking a bit of time to take care of ourselves can help ease some of that pressure. 

 

When you are in a relationship, there is a natural give and take, emotionally and physically, to maintain a balance. There are times when you give too much. It might look like doing all the housework including cleaning, laundry, cooking and shopping or being responsible for maintaining the childrens schedules in addition to planning for parties, birthdays, holidays, etc. 

 

What happens when all of this is going on and you feel like you are not being seen or heard by your partner? 

 

And, what about when your needs are not being met? 

 

Now, add a third (or more) person to this mix. You are not only navigating your own emotions of love, jealousy, fear, etc, you are also navigating them for all those involved in the relationship. 

 

And, do I need to tell you how hard communication can be, no matter how many people are involved??

 

Can you see how quickly and easily the pressure can mount? 

 

Self care is like the pressure release valve on a pressure cooker, it helps keep the pressure at a safe level. 

 

Self care isn’t a new term and I’m sure we have all heard of it before. Don’t worry though, I’m not gonna tell you to go take a bath and all your troubles will be gone (unless, of course, that works for you!). 

 

I believe self care starts way before the needle on that pressure cooker is hitting the red zone. 

 

Start by taking a step back and looking at why you are feeling overwhelmed. Are you taking on too much at home? Are the kids in too many activities? Is your partner not helping out? Do you not communicate your needs? Is your partner’s partner “needy” of their time? Sometimes, this takes a little bit to tease out and it can be more than one thing. 

 

Once you figure out your why(s), let me give you my first Self Care Idea. 

 

Self Care Idea 1: Set healthy boundaries. Start with the most simple one (yet very hard to say), saying NO. You do not NEED to go to every neighborhood party you get invited to. Your kids do not NEED to be in every sport. Your home does not NEED to be spotless all the time. And grow your boundaries from there. 

 

Self Care Idea 2: Ask for help. Ask your partner to help with the kids. Ask for help with meals by using a meal delivery service. Ask your kids to help with dinner prep (even younger children can help cut vegetables with scissors). Ask a friend (maybe even your partner’s partner) to watch your kids so you have time for a date with your partner. 

 

Self Care Idea 3: Find ways to improve your self confidence. Idea one and two seem pretty simple, but, if you lack self confidence, they can be very challenging. Be your biggest cheerleader. Tell yourself, either in your head or out loud, how AWESOME you are when you set a healthy boundary or reach a goal you set. Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Find a color or cut that you love on yourself and wear it! Look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a compliment. Listen to the compliments people give you and say thank you instead of denying them. Believe those compliments. People usually don’t give compliments unless they mean them, so, why wouldn’t you believe them too? 

 

Self Care Idea 4: Move your body. It might be dancing crazy with the kids, or, going for a walk by yourself. I find lifting weights helps me feel strong, empowered and gives me a great release. Find 10 minutes in your day to do something active (then increase that time as you can). It’s good for your brain and your body. 

 

Self Care Idea 5: Meditate. For those that say they can’t meditate, hear me out. Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting crossed legged on the floor for an hour. You can start by sitting on a park bench, listening to the birds sing or the cars go by. You can even meditate while you are on your walk, just pay attention to the flowers blooming and stop and watch the squirrels run and play. Slowing down and paying attention to what is around you and not your thoughts is a great place to begin. If you are interested in traditional meditation and unsure where to start, Netflix has a great series, Headspace, Guide to Meditation that slowly introduces meditation if you want to try that. Ram Dass also has some great, easy to listen to meditations that you can find on YouTube for a more traditional meditation practice. 

 

So what do you think of my Self Care Ideas? They might not be traditional ones you were thinking of, but, come on, I’m not very traditional, am I? Don’t get me wrong, I think the bubble baths, spa days, or my go to, smoking pot and binge watching a Bravos series (I’m currently watching Vanderpump Rules 😉) are useful too. I just think this type of self care can be better enjoyed if you have a couple “safety measures” in place first. No one wants to be on a massage table and worrying about what to buy little Tommy for his birthday party that you don’t want to go to anyways. 

 

Are you now at the end of this blog and are thinking to yourself, “this doesn’t apply to me at all,” may I offer you a suggestion? Reach out to your partner and help them take care of themselves. Start doing more around the house or with the kids (don’t ask what needs done, you know plenty of things that can help out, especially the stuff you get nagged about on). Encourage them to go for a walk, share this blog with them, have them follow me on my social medias.

Do you think these all sound great but need help setting boundaries or improving your confidence? You have come to the right place! Drop me a line on my social media or at Steph@KoruLifeCoaching.com and we can chat about how I can help you improve in these areas and in your life.

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