Have you ever thought about how taking care of your own mental health can affect your relationship? In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month coming up in May, we talked to Certified Life & Relationship Coach Christal Allen-Harrahill about the importance of staying mentally fit with your partner for long-term happiness. She has tips for taking care of your emotional well-being so that it positively impacts your relationship.
About the Author: Christal Allen-Harrahill is a Life & Relationship Coach for Women in Real Estate. She helps her clients stop the petty fights with their partners and get back to feeling like they did when they were first dating their partner. She empowers women to create fulfilling relationships right now through her signature A-B-C process (Awareness-Becoming-Change). She is an accomplished businesswoman and certified coach with a relatable, down-to-earth vibe that makes you feel safe and cared for.
She aims to create a safe space for women to transform their most important relationships when they find themselves coping or frustrated.
Staying mentally fit for yourself is a win for both you and your partner. One of my favorite sayings from Jim Rohn is:
“The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you’. Now, I say, ‘I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me’”.
This quote reminds us that gaining awareness is the first step to creating intentional change for the better. Ask yourself if you see any patterns or themes in thoughts and behaviors that are not producing the results you want in your life and relationship.
I suggest you support yourself in this exploration from a place of compassion and curiosity, not judgment, for both yourself and your partner.
For example, if you are a people-pleaser with your partner and your verbal yes is usually an internal no, don’t judge yourself. I encourage you to get curious about it. What do you think will happen if you say no? How do you feel when you don’t speak your truth? What are your reasons for saying yes? You may think it will be uncomfortable to speak your truth and hear your partner’s response, but aren’t you already uncomfortable with people-pleasing?
Which discomfort do you prefer? Which discomfort is sustainable?
Let’s look at a couple of scenarios of how this could unfold:
Scenario A: Your partner likes to visit a family member’s house once a week and always asks you to go. You don’t want to do this EVERY week and you still answer yes because you want to make your partner happy. However, you are starting to feel resentful because you want more time at home. You think you know how your partner will respond if you speak your truth, so you never do.
Scenario B: Your partner likes to visit a family member’s house once a week and always asks you to go. You communicate to your partner that you value being included and that’s also not what you want to do every week. You communicate the number of times that work for you and encourage your partner to continue visiting weekly if they desire. You remember there is a 50/50 chance your partner will express their dislike of your decision. You don’t make their dislike of your decision mean anything about you. From a place of compassion, you figure this is a big change for your partner as well because they are used to you going with their flow.
You remind yourself that you are doing this from a place of love for yourself not against your partner.
Having an honest conversation with yourself and then deciding how you want to communicate to your partner, empowers us to engage from a proactive space instead of a reactive one. Be patient with yourself and your partner. Thoughts and behaviors that have been created over the years, take time to evaluate, edit, and change.
No matter how much you care for and love your partner, you cannot pour from an empty cup. So, care for your mental and emotional health. The benefits will ripple into all aspects of your life and relationship.
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