SELF CARE: CHERISHING YOURSELF AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP
In Wednesday’s posting on The Gottman Relationship Blog, in which we shared a recent study out of UC Berkeley on the relationship between sleep and relationship conflict, we brought up the importance of cultivating good habits in self care, one of the most critical tools in maintaining healthy relationships. This weekend, we offer you a few of Dr. Gottman’s tips for goal-setting and stress management! We hope that the following lists will help you as you work to find balance and create a healthier lifestyle, both for yourself and for your relationship.
DR. GOTTMAN’S TIPS FOR GOAL SETTING:
- Make your goals specific and measurable. Rather than telling your partner that you would like to talk more, suggest that you go on a date every other Saturday. Leave the kids with the babysitter and find some time for just the two of you.
- Think about the pros and cons of making healthy changes. If we stick with the example above, we could imagine that a pro would be the ability to feel closer to each other and relax (at a favorite dinner spot, on a jaunt through a beloved park, in a cozy cafe), and a con could be the price of the babysitter.
THE MOST LOVING THING YOU CAN SAY TO YOUR PARTNER
It’s not “meet my needs.”
One of the worst things we can do for the health of a relationship is pretend that we know how to make intimate unions work. Under that illusion, we’re likely to conclude that our partners are unable or unwilling to do what we “know” would make our relationships succeed. It’s an illusion which comes from the Toddler brain – the limbic area of feelings and impulses, fully myelinated by age 3. In the Toddler brain, we’re likely to give what we want to give, rather than what our partners want to receive, like the toddler who offers you candy when you’re hungry for sirloin.
In reality, there’s no way that any of us could know how to make modern intimate relationships work. Biology has not prepared us for love’s special challenges in our rapidly changing culture. Tradition is hopelessly outdated—the old socialized roles and norms have broken down almost completely. And pop-psychology gives little more than platitudes or oversimplified and contradictory advice or “communication techniques” that are so unnatural, you’ll just end up resenting each other for failing to do them consistently.
Let’s here and now relieve ourselves of the awful burden of having to defend an ego that’s unrealistically inflated when it comes to love relationships. Repeat the following out loud, at least three times, or until you feel a sense of relief:
SEVEN THINGS YOU SHOULD GIVE YOUR SPOUSE DAILY
When it comes to giving, many married people are generous to everybody except their spouses. There are seven things you should give your spouse daily – not weekly, monthly or annually. They are things you must give your spouse daily. Let’s see them:
1. Give your spouse a TOUCH:
One of the ways to bond with your spouse is to give him or her a touch. We have encouragement touch, affirmation touch, healing touch, apology touch, and we have sexual touch. Study your partner and know what touch to give at a particular time.
If you want God to touch your marriage, touch your spouse. Don’t let today go without you touching your spouse!
THE CLEANLINESS OF YOUR HOME IS IMPACTING YOUR HAPPINESS
Apparently, there are real health incentives to vacuuming.
Your mother was right. You really do need to clean your room—and not just to get rid of clutter and find your long lost gray sweater. A new survey run on behalf of Clorox found that not only is your emotional and mental state linked to how clean your home is, but you can actually be more productive and less stressed in a clean home.
The report, conducted by Ketchum Global Research & Analytics and commissioned by Clorox, surveyed 2,008 adults across the United States. It started based off some pretty grim-sounding third party research: According to a Gallup poll, 79 percent of Americans frequently suffer from stress. Another 72 percent report feeling lonely (per a Harris poll), while happiness levels seem to generally be declining. Another Harris poll found the US to have dropped to number 19 from number 3 on the World Happiness Index in a span of just nine years.
While these findings are fairly depressing, there’s an easy solution: cleaning. That’s right.
6 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN YOUR HEART IS BREAKING
It’s a dull, subdued sensation when your heart is breaking, like the muffled sound of a distant gunshot. It doesn’t physically pierce your skin or tear you to pieces, but the sensation is physically present – the paralyzing discomfort of realizing that something you took for granted is leaving for good.
Although it’s hard to accept at first, this is actually a good sign, having a broken heart. It means you have loved something, you have tried for something, and you have let life teach you.
Life will attempt to break you down sometimes; nothing and no one can completely protect you from this reality. Remaining alone and hiding from the world won’t either, for endless, stagnant solitude will also break you with unhealthy nostalgia and yearning.
HOW TO DEAL WITH EMOTIONS WHEN ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE GETTING MARRIED AROUND YOU
The pressure to get married can be overwhelming and the emotions when you’re the last one standing even more so. Here’s how to cope!
We get to a certain age when many of our close friends are tying the knot and amidst all the excitement and preparations of your friend’s wedding, certain sore hearts are inevitable. This is a phase each one of us will go through where the feelings of being stuck and left out are prominent. Here’s how to deal with the emotions that inevitably arise when all your friends are getting married around you.
Your best friend might be getting married and that will mean the start of a new phase in life for you as well. You will undergo a strange mixture of emotions and lifestyle changes too.
It is pretty normal to feel that way, do not feel guilty about it!
30 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR KID INSTEAD OF “HOW WAS YOUR DAY?”
When I picked my son up from his first day of 4th grade, my usual (enthusiastically delivered) question of “how was your day?” was met with his usual (indifferently delivered) “fine.”
Come on! It’s the first day, for crying out loud! Give me something to work with, would you, kid?
The second day, my same question was answered, “well, no one was a jerk.”
That’s good…I guess.
5 WAYS TO MAKE LIFE SIMPLE AGAIN
When we were young life was easier, right? I know sometimes it seems that way. But the truth is life still is easy. It always will be. The only difference is we’re older, and the older we get, the more we complicate things for ourselves.
You see, when we were young we saw the world through simple, hopeful eyes. We knew what we wanted and we had no biases or concealed agendas. We liked people who smiled. We avoided people who frowned. We ate when we were hungry, drank when we were thirsty, and slept when we were tired.
As we grew older our minds became gradually disillusioned by negative external influences. At some point we began to hesitate and question our instincts. When a new obstacle or growing pain arose, we stumbled and fell down. This happened several times. Eventually we decided we didn’t want to fall again, but rather than solving the problem that caused us to fall, we avoided it altogether.
WE ARE KILLING OUR CHILDREN AND CALLING IT LOVE!
When I was growing up, one of the worst insults that could be hurled at a child (or his parents) was that he was a spoiled brat. It was a remark that wasn’t used very often, but when it was, it stung. No one wanted to hear the perception that a child was spoiled.
Now, we hardly hear the remark or observation, but maybe it’s because so many children are spoiled. Has the use of the stinging remark decreased as the problem increased?
Out of curiosity, I looked up the meaning of “spoil.” It means “to harm the character of a child by being too lenient or indulgent.”