Love And Life Toolbox
Dating after Divorce and Self-Care

5 Tips to Practice Self Care in your Relationships

It’s just as important to take care of yourself while in a relationship – as tending to the relationship itself.  The same thing goes for your friendships, family and others in your inner circle.  To be the best you can be for any of them, you need to be good at knowing when it’s time to switch gears and put a little focus on yourself.

Here are 5 tips to practice self care in your relationships:

  1. Take time for you.  Time away from your partner or others provides an opportunity to recharge, think or engage in solo activities that bring you personal fulfillment.  The happier you are – the more bandwidth you’ll have to be present for them.
  2. Be honest with yourself.  There are many reasons why people minimize other people’s behavior, especially in close relationships.  Whether it’s a spouse, friend or father, occasionally check in with yourself around how you are feeling with them.  It has to start with you.
  3. Set healthy boundaries.  There is an emotional, physical and psychological space between people.  We all have a right to our boundaries and can usually sense it when they are being violated.  It’s ok to set limits and say, “no.”  Be clear about your needs in a respectful way.
  4. Sweep out the toxic.  If you are in an intimate relationship or other relationship that consistently leaves you feeling badly, it might be time to reconsider why they are in your life.  It’s an act of self care to surround yourself with people who positively impact you.  If the “toxic person” is someone a little more challenging to simply “broom out” (like family), attempt to set boundaries with them and put more distance between you if need be.
  5. Heal old wounds.  Many clues as to how we behave in relationships (intimate or other) can be found in our family of originexperiences.  If you experienced trauma, chaos, questions around trust, etc – take the time to work through your emotional injuries to learn how to be the most secure you can for others.

We are born wired to connect to others in relationship but we are also unique individuals with an inherent desire to “be” ourselves.  With families, careers, social engagements and life in general it’s easy to forget how important taking care of yourself – within your relationships – is.  As counter-intuitive as it seem to some – to  focus energy away from the needs of others to focus on self –  it actually can greatly benefit those you care the most about.  After all, they get the benefit of a more content you!

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT

Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT is the creator of with emotional and relationship health articles, guides, courses and other tools for individuals and couples. She is a frequent consultant for the media having appeared in,, and others. Lisa has a private practice in Marin County, CA and offers Emotional Health and Relationship Consultations via email, phone or video conference.

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