Q: I would love for you to address the issue of how you can self-care when you're married or in a relationship where it's not always easy to have your own space. Do you carve out time for just yourself, for things like baths and yoga? Or do you do them with your partner? Do you have to set some limits of what you need for "you" time? I'm so busy and I feel like it's hard enough to make enough time to spend with my husband, let alone on my own self-nurturing. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this balance.
A: Great question! It is never easy to balance it all, is it? I just finished my chapters on self-care and relationships so your question comes at a great time where so much material is fresh. In order be fully accessible and present for anyone--managers, family, beloveds, pets--you must be taking care of yourself. No ifs, ands, or buts about this one! Sometimes simply closing a door and doing legs up the wall for a few minutes can help replenish your well. Other times, you need much more such as a mini solo retreat to a museum, yoga class, hot bath, movie, or weekend (or more!) away to refuel. It's great to have common interests with our partners, but I believe it is most important to have a solid, comfortable, and loving relationship with ourselves. Unless we love, honor, and respect who we are, it is hard to give all these things to someone else, much less expect it from them.
We're all so very different so what I need will be different from what you may need. Growing up, I always thought it was odd that my mother delighted in my father's trips away. Now I understand how sacred alone time can be for people in partnerships. Some of us need it more than others. When my beau has a concert or something going on that I'm not interested in attending, I savor the night in journal writing, reading, taking a hot bath, and just being. SUCH a delight. Notice what helps keep you replenished so that you can be running with all the internal fuel you need--then you can be a very open and loving partner, friend, employee, etc.
Carve out some "you" time and watch what unfolds! Chat with your partner about ways to blend self-care with "couple time." He may be open to pottery or yoga classes, hiking in the woods, or taking a weekend away! Hope this helps!