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Self care with Sarah: Getting back to the grind

Sarah Matarella, L, A & E Editor

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While self-care may involve things like eating well, personal hygiene and mindfulness, it also encompasses your relationships with others. Relationships have a significant impact on how you think, act and feel and thus, affect your overall well-being. 

Relationships allow people to form bonds and learn about oneself. However, they can also directly affect your health both positively and negatively. According to an article by Erin McHenry published by the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center, relationships are linked to reduced stress levels, but can also be mentally taxing if they are not maintained properly.

“Healthy relationships enable us to be who we are. They nurture us and they help us grow. They help us become better people.,” said Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N. and the Director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing who was interviewed by McHenry.

When someone is in a healthy relationship, they are more often than not the best versions of themselves. Feelings of euphoria can arise when people who love you and support you surround you. Feeling great can further lead someone to be more productive, get better sleep at night, and be more optimistic overall. Therefore, people in healthy relationships generally have a better quality of life.

Since healthy relationships help us grow and allow us to be our best selves, toxic relationships often do the exact opposite. When you become intertwined in an unhealthy relationship, you can become depressed, anxious, and even lose yourself to an extent. Stress caused from strained relationships can even go as far as affecting your body if it becomes worse enough. 

“When couples are in a constant state of conflict, it is detrimental to their health and wellbeing. Their blood pressure rises, and they suffer emotionally. That affects your body,” said Bean Robinson, Ph.D.

These negative effects can arise from relationship strains with friends and family members. With this information in mind, here are somebasic steps that someone can do to maintain healthy relationships across the board:

1. Be mindful in times of stress

First and foremost, everyone is going through something whether they choose to express it or not. Therefore, it is important to show grace not only for yourself, but for the other person. While they cannot always be perfect in every moment of the relationship, neither can you. In addition, we all have jobs or school work (or both) and it is completely normal to get stressed.

2. Adopt the give and take mindset

Not only should you be there for your friend, but they need to be there for you. One person should not be completely reliant on the other all the time. Also, do not be afraid to reach out to the other person if you need help. We all need to talk things out sometimes or just have someone there to lean on. Just do not forget to do that for others too. 

3. Provide reassurance

Let the people in your life know that you love them, care about them, and appreciate that they are there with you. Sometimes great relationships, whether they are friends or significant others, are few and far between. If you are lucky to have special people in your life, let them know and nourish that relationship. 

4. Communicate

It is imperative to communicate about what is going on in your head. The other person is not a mind reader and is not able to realize how you are feeling about a particular situation unless you tell them how you feel. Your feelings are important and you are thinking them for a reason, so let someone know how you are feeling to alleviate your own personal stress and stress within the relationship as well. 

5. End toxic relationships 

This is arguably the most important step out of all of them. Everyone can develop their own ways of having healthy relationships that works for them, but ultimately, if you are in a relationship situation that is not ideal for you, end it as soon as possible. Life is too short to have people in your life that only bring upon negative energy surrounding you. 

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Self care with Sarah: Getting back to the grind