7 Ways To Guard Your Emotional Health In Relationships
March 9, 2017 12:00 AM EST | 7 min read
Nurturing your emotional health is essential to your happiness and your partner’s.
If you struggle to stay emotionally healthy when in love, don’t worry—you’re not alone.
It can be challenging for many of us.
Loving your partner while creating a fulfilling relationship, can cause you to lose focus on your personal life.
It’s not that you aren’t living life.
However, you may allow your personal needs to slip away, trying to ensure your partner is happy.
Yes, your relationship with your partner is a priority.
However, your role as a healthy individual plays a big part in the overall health of your relationship.
You keep the connection thriving with your partner by nourishing your heart and soul.
The best way to have a healthy relationship is to fulfill your own goals and aspirations.
You may think this sounds selfish, but it’s not.
Keeping yourself happy through self-care and self-love techniques allows you to connect with yourself.
When you love yourself, you will love your partner as an equal.
Putting your emotional health at the top of your to-do list prevents you from losing a sense of self or identity.
If you are emotionally reliant on your partner, it creates something known as enmeshment.
This is where boundaries are non-existent.
When this occurs, you pause your personal self-development by not giving yourself the things you need to radiate and grow.
Therefore, setting boundaries shows respect for you and your relationship and will be essential to your happiness.
When you love someone, you have to continue nurturing your self-love first.
Here’s how to take care of your emotional health.
1. Establish a balance of independence and interdependence
Both are equally imperative to living an intimate and fulfilling life while committed to your partner.
Keeping your independence means doing activities for yourself to reach your personal goals.
This doesn’t mean stepping outside of your relationship.
Maybe it’s grabbing dinner with your friends weekly or attending a social event for your career.
Whatever you crave, continue pursuing it wholeheartedly.
If you neglect your emotional health, your relationship will suffer, too.
Cultivating your independence helps increase your self-worth and personal development.
When your personal needs are met based on your values, you are more likely to honor your partner healthily.
The two of you become mutually reliant upon each other with unconditional love and support, achieving interdependence.
However, avoid misconstruing this with codependence; as interdependence forms from two healthy partners who maintain their personal wellness outside the relationship.
2. Find a hobby that feeds your emotional health
What makes you happy?
Is there something you are passionate about?
If unsure, be adventurous and explore different activities in your local neighborhood or city.
- Join a yoga studio or running group if you love to exercise.
- Go horseback riding or volunteer at an animal shelter if you love animals.
- Sign-up up for a photography or cooking class if you love being creative.
- Learn a new language or play a musical instrument if you love challenging your mind.
Whatever makes you happy, commit to doing an activity once a week for yourself outside your relationship.
This will fuel your connection with yourself tremendously, giving you a place of inner peace and happiness within your lifestyle.
3. Travel and explore
Traveling alone, or with friends, is a great way for you to step away from the daily grind and reflect on your journey.
You will see things you may have overlooked when you step outside of your bubble.
Whether planning an international vacation or taking a spontaneous road trip, enjoy the freedom to be you.
It’s easy to take the simple things in life for granted.
You truly can learn to appreciate your emotional health, the surrounding people, and your relationship with your partner.
Traveling gives you clarity to see the things you are grateful for in life.
To explore, you seek what makes you groove and move in life.
4. Time for friends and family
Quality time with people who support your endeavors is extremely important.
Before committing to your partner, these people played a big role in your life.
So they still deserve some one-on-one time with you.
Dedicate time slots with those you love and care about the most when you get into a relationship, whether weekly or monthly.
They are the ones who are there to listen or pick you back up when you’re struggling during tough times.
Giving time to your support system is valuable to your emotional health, as they will provide honest advice.
Schedule tea time, take a fitness class together, grab a good meal, or Skype.
Make the time – don’t just find the time – with friends and family.
5. Begin journaling
This technique helps you grow tremendously when you practice it daily.
Being able to process your emotions gives you the leverage to let go of your troubles, make healthier decisions, and find your core values.
Think of this simple concept as a complex problem solver.
Writing 10 minutes a day is all it takes, whether during your morning coffee or nightly routine.
Now and then, go back and read some of your journal entries.
You’ll be surprised to see your personal growth!
You will be able to identify the healthy decisions you have made and recognize the development in your own life.
Being able to create an intimate relationship with yourself through writing gives you the ability to care for your own needs.
This personal outlet is a great tool for anyone learning to love themselves.
6. Manage your emotions
Life can take you up and down in your personal life.
Therefore, managing your emotions will allow you to navigate things that don’t always go your way.
You may lose your job or receive news a family member is sick; however, make sure you don’t displace the pain onto your partner when looking for support.
Finding resilience will help you get back up while embracing life’s changes.
The more you understand yourself, the healthier you will feel.
You can only learn from your setbacks and see them as growth opportunities.
When you are upset, take a timeout for yourself.
Let your partner know you need time to think and process your feelings.
By informing your partner you need alone time, you aren’t neglecting your relationship.
This helps you and your partner stay connected and work as a team.
7. Communicate your values
Expressing your values will keep you and your relationship healthy.
If you value intimacy, honesty, or trustworthiness in your relationship, you will need to express when these needs are not being met.
You can identify your relationship values based on what you need for a fulfilling relationship with yourself and your partner.
The best way to communicate your needs is to operate from a place of values.
If you feel uncomfortable talking about your feelings, write a letter.
Any form of communication that allows you to calmly express your emotions will give you a place to release and let go of stressful situations.
Remember: refrain from blaming your partner, as they are there to support you along your journey.
Applying these seven secrets in your personal life will help you maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and your partner.
Sometimes, you get off the beaten path when you fall in love.
However, doing something daily to nurture your emotional health and happiness can help bring you back.