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Why does self-care play such a vital role in your relationship?

I’m not talking about bubble baths and manicures. That’s pampering. I’m talking about really taking care of yourself.

If you feel like you are living beyond your capacity, it may be getting in the way of your self-care. And when you’re not taking care of yourself, it can harm your relationship.

In this episode, we’ll talk about how to decide what’s important to you so you can avoid relationship conflict.

  • You’ll hear a story about my dog and how I learned the value of self-care
  • You’ll hear about two fundamental elements of self-care: capacity and nourishment and why they are sometimes in conflict
  • I’ll give you a simple habit so you don’t get overwhelmed by all the choices there are for taking care of yourself



Self-care: Sometimes the things that nourish you also deplete your capacity

I tangled with these two things when I first got dogs early on in my marriage.

I am a dog person. I LOVE dogs. Petting or walking a dog nourishes me and fills my tank. Life was so good when I got my first dog, Sarah. It got even better when I feel in love with a puppy and brought her home.

But when I was deciding to adopt that wonderful little puppy, I made a mistake. I didn’t wonder about how much energy I had. Two dogs was a lot more work than one, especially once I started having kids.

We all do this, right? Simply fall in love without thinking about how something will change our situation.

I loved my dogs, but they drained my capacity. Is there something in your life that you love, but you just don’t have the energy to keep up with?

Self care is adjusting or letting go of things that drain your capacity, even when they help nourish you.


Self-care: A drained capacity affects your relationship

When my dogs were out of control, tensions built between my husband and me.

The dogs would bark, we would yell at them, and the result was pandemonium in my house. I felt out of control and I felt like my husband was always mad at me because the dogs were my idea.

This situation drained my capacity. I was anxious and exhausted, and my husband and I both felt it.

When you can find the balance of being nourished without draining your capacity, you are taking care of yourself. Self-care allows you to see things more clearly, squash silent expectations, and stop blaming. Self-care improves your relationship.

Try this: 

This week’s habit for your happily ever after is to identify one repeated pattern in your life that causes your capacity to be drained.

Is it around food and meal planning? Constant deprivation when it comes to sleep? Exposure to a difficult person in your life?

Being HANGRY is a great example of low capacity. Prepping lunches for the week is a great example of nourishment.

Notice how this low capacity is impacting your relationship. Imagine how your relationship would change if you could mitigate this low capacity.

Find your balance of capacity and nourishment

Capacity is the ability to be realistic about what you can handle. Nourishment is regularly filling your tank so you don’t ask yourself to run on empty.

The more nourishment you offer yourself, the more capacity you’ll have.

The more you respect the limits of your capacity, the less crucial it will be to continuously nourish yourself.

I wish I could give you a straightforward recipe. Here’s the perfect balance between capacity and nourishment. But if I did that, you’d know I was lying. This balance is not only different for every person, it’s different for each person during each season of life.

A big piece of filling up your capacity is to notice what nourishes you. Then you take action to give yourself that nourishment and safeguard your capacity. This isn’t easy. It takes practice. But its a place to start.

Date Night Discussion:

This week ask, your sweetheart about what stretches their capacity. Where is your sweetheart drained beyond capacity? You don’t have to fix it. That can be the self-care of your sweetheart. But your curiosity gives your sweetheart room to wonder.

Tell your sweetheart where you are stretched beyond capacity. Again, you don’t have to fix it in this moment. There is great power in simply acknowledging out loud where you feel deprived and empty.

Next, talk with your sweetheart about what nourishes each of you. Let your sweetheart know what nourishes you. Get curious about what nourishes your sweetheart. Talk about what nourishes your relationship.

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