4 Tools to Keep Your Relationships Healthy
RAFT Team, December 9, 2019
When life gets busy, it's difficult to prioritize relationships.
The ones you love the most are often the ones who suffer the most because you trust them to understand.
Ironically, it’s during your busiest times that you could use the extra support. How do you keep your significant other significant? How do you keep your relationships healthy? And what are the best tools to help you navigate through the busy times while remaining balanced and connected?
Below are 4 practical tools to help keep your relationships healthy:
Keep Yourself Healthy
In order to keep your relationships healthy, you must prioritize your relationship with yourself. If you don't fill your cup first, you can't have the energy to invest in those around you. This means carving out space to eat right. Exercise. Rest. Pursue hobbies. Connect with others in meaningful ways. Set aside time to do whatever you need to live a fulfilled, meaningful life. Perhaps your self-care routine needs some honing. Maybe you’ve never tried one and need to begin a self-care routine. Commit to keeping yourself healthy so that you can keep your relationships healthy.
Healthy boundaries allow you to be confident in who you are, what you feel, and what you believe. This helps you say no to the things that aren’t your priority (even though they may be someone else’s) so you have time for what is important to you. If this thought terrifies you, or you feel guilty whenever you say no, you probably spend a lot of time stressed out, frustrated, and exhausted.
There’s a better way to live! You can grow your ability to say no by getting in tune with your personal values. From there, you can begin to say “no” by saying “yes” differently. If you find your boundaries floundering, consider the following:
- When you accommodate, you lose power.
- When you attack, you lose the relationship.
- When you avoid, you lose both power and the relationship.
Most of us strive to be as honest as possible. The only lies that sneak from time to time are usually the little white ones that protect others from a difficult truth or protect yourself and your reputation. But if you want to go deeper in your relationships with others, you have to get vulnerable. You have the peel back the layers of self-sufficiency and tear down the walls of mistrust. You have to strip yourself of pretense and be transparent about what you think, what you need, and how you feel. Honesty is one of the key building blocks that keeps relationships healthy. When you’re struggling to be honest, remember these 4 keys:
- Know yourself and your intentions.
- Make your actions match your words.
- Give honest reactions.
- Listen to feedback.
To keep your relationships healthy, you must remain present physically and emotionally. This takes time, effort, and commitment. It’s easy to bring work home with you and solve problems while you prepare dinner, do the laundry, or listen to your children chatter about their day. It’s easy to shut down and emotionally exit the conversation when we’re offended. And it’s easy to bring past offenses into a current conversation. The following practices can help you grow your ability to remain present:
- Meditate regularly.
- Practice gratitude.
- Communicate your needs.
- Connect with others.
Keep these four tools handy. Practice them. Make them part of your daily routine.
You’ll benefit greatly from the resulting healthy relationships, and your circle of support will benefit from your investment of time and effort as well.