Have you dedicated enough time to ‘self-care’ this year? Or do you physically recoil from the thought of scheduling ‘you time’? For you, is this just another buzz phrase that brings to mind millennials bailing on a dinner date because they haven’t had time to fill in their gratitude app this week? Perhaps you think you never would have gotten to this point in your life had you indulged in something so frivolous as self-care, instead of driving full throttle into your career?
Doubting the value of self-care is still rife amongst many. Do we really need to encourage people to become narcissists, given this navel-gazing age of social media? But what if the term is more than just a fad? What if it holds more poignancy than we realise? What if self-care is the key to a successful love life?
Beauchamp & Childress (2001) describe self-care as giving adequate attention to one’s own physical and psychological wellness. If you do not feel at your physical or psychological best, you might not be in an optimum position to attract a partner. Yes, for many of us we might need to shift a few extra pounds, but if we don’t give ourselves adequate time to assess our states, to reflect on how we feel, to understand ourselves by stopping for a moment to think about us, how can we expect to put our best selves out there? Old adages stand for a reason, and that one about loving yourself before anyone else is a tried and tested good one.
Furthermore, ‘psychological wellness’ means understanding our needs and what we require to meet those needs. When we look at this in relation to a loving partnership, perhaps it’s time to take note. Have you ever considered what it is you really need from a relationship? From a partner? Perhaps you know the sort of person you want, maybe that idea is crystal clear in your mind’s eye, but have you considered where this vision has come from? Do you understand yourself well enough to know why this vision exists?
Even the most psychologically sound person will have been influenced by peers or family at some point in their life. Perhaps your vision of the ‘perfect partner’ has been swayed by people around you, unwittingly making you seek a partner with a specific look or whom fits a certain role.
But what if you forgot all of that and thought for a moment about what it is you really need from a relationship and life partner? Forget looks, status, social standing. What are the core values you need in someone to complement you, to drive you, to excite you?
Self-care is about forgetting what others think and bringing your needs into the fore. It is about forgetting how things ‘should be’. Self-care means tuning into yourself, and understanding what you truly need. When we think of this in relation to our love lives, self-care is paramount.
A recent report stated that, “Self-care can be seen as an overarching concept built from the 3 key concepts of self-care maintenance, self-care monitoring, and self-care management.” So once you have assigned time to understanding your desires, to taking time to reflect on what you need, it is time to maintain, monitor and manage those aspects of yourself.
Maintenance, monitoring and management. Words that are bandied around with ease in relation to work-life balance, but do you need help in maintaining a love life? Applying a management and maintenance principle to your love life is key to making it successful, and that is where Vida can help. Contact us today to see how we can assist with monitoring, assessing, managing your goals and, ultimately, encounters. Put yourself forward this autumn, from a place of loving self-worth.