People often think that when it comes to a relationship breaking down it is only the relationship that needs to be repaired. While this can often be the case I think it is important for each individual to step out and see how they are functioning in their lives independently. When we are struggling with things in our own life, one of the first things that is often impacted is our relationship. Even when we try our hardest we can sometimes take our stress, exhaustion, financial pressures, emotions etc out on our partner. Unfortunately, this holds our relationship responsible for our own independent problems, and it also makes coming to a healthy resolution more challenging. If your relationship is under a lot of stress right now take moment to reflect on how things are going in your life first before jumping to the conclusion that the problem begins and ends with your relationship. Here are some things I recommend doing whenever you find yourself at a crossroads in your relationship:
- Do a Check In: What is going on in your life right now outside of your relationship that could be causing you stress? We all lead busy lives nowadays and sometimes without even being aware of it the stress and pressure from work and life catch up with us. A lot of people are currently bordering on burnout and yet keep pushing through. Take a minute to stop and reflect on what is happening in your life right now: what is working well and what isn’t? Where are feeling underappreciated, how is this impacting you? Are you constantly exhausted? If so, why? What parts of your life are causing you anxiety right now? What parts of your life need improvement? Write these things down so they are clearly outlined and then walk away and leave the list alone for at least 24 hours.
- Take Yourself On A Date: Yes I am talking about self care again. I know I talk about it a lot but most people don’t realize just how out of sync they are with themselves or the important role self care plays in every aspect of our life. After writing your list I want you to take some time to do something relaxing that will make you feel great. Now is not the time to worry about finding the answers, now is the time to recharge your batteries so you can find healthy solutions. Listen to what you really need right now. Perhaps you need to shake out the stress on the dance floor with some friends, or maybe get a proper night sleep. Listen to what you feel you really need and spend the day (and night) doing just that.
- Tackle the List: Rank the items on your least from easiest to hardest. Address and take care of the easy issues first and then start looking into how you can work through the more challenging items. Be prepared for this to take some time as sometimes the issues can take awhile to sort through. Throughout this process it is really important that you make self care part of your daily routine, even if its just 10 minutes. Working through the things that cause us stress takes a toll so we need to continue to refuel ourselves along the way.
Once you have worked through these things, take a step back and look at what needs to be addressed in your relationship. Perhaps some of the issues will have resolved themselves. If not, you will be in a better place to properly address the struggles you are having in a healthy manner.