This blog is to mark day 2 of Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) in the UK. The theme for 2016 is Relationships. ‘Good relationships help you live longer and happier lives with fewer physical and mental health problems.’ Yesterday’s blog (Monday 16th May) was The Relationship You Have With Yourself. My topic today is the relationship you have with your partner.
The relationship you have with your partner is important for mental wellbeing. Excellent relationships can enhance mental wellbeing, but poor relationships may lead to stress, anxiety and depression. It is often a difficult subject to raise, but one worth considering for the benefit of both partners. Three simple things that can improve the quality of relationship with your partner are:
Probably the most important aspect of a good relationship is communication. When this fails, everything could go downhill quickly. Taking time to sit down and talk about the things that matter to each of you is a good place to start, but is not always as easy as it sounds.
Many misunderstandings through poor communication can cause upset for both
partners and lead to an unnecessary breakdown. I know; I’ve been there! Consider setting aside time to talk on a regular basis; this doesn’t mean talking about the bad things, though, sharing the little things and just having a really good chat can be refreshing. If you are in the habit of having regular conversations, it might make it easier to discuss problems.
Time together isn’t just time spent sitting together on the couch with a TV dinner or watching a movie. Although these are good, quality time together is far more important. Quality time together could be as simple as scheduling an opportunity to go out for a meal, or going to bed earlier to have some intimate time. Going for a walk is also beneficial, as we have already learned from yesterday’s blog, walking can give our mental wellbeing a boost. Maybe visit a place of interest, book a weekend away or even a holiday together. No matter how small or big an event the time together is, any time dedicated to each other can help boost mental wellbeing for you both.
It sounds contradictory but works perfectly in addition to the above. Downtime, me-time, alone-time, head-space – whatever you prefer to call it, this time apart is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself as well as your partner. Taking time to read, go for a walk, practice a hobby, or just catching up on some sleep can recharge your batteries and give you and your partner something to talk about when you get back together again. Having a night out with your friends or going to visit a family member gives you the opportunity to enhance those relationships too!
Maintaining and improving the relationship with your partner by making time for these simple things, can be fulfilling for you both as well as providing opportunities to enhance mental wellbeing. Give it a try!