If you’re in a relationship, you already know that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. You approach life with two heads, rather than one, and you always take your shared space into account when making a decision. It means you’re never alone in facing the problems that come with being an adult!
As such, the same sentiment applies when it comes to mental health. When your partner is struggling, so are you, and vice versa. However, supporting someone when they have a mental health problem can be draining.
Of course, when you’re in a relationship there’s a lot of expectation there, and a lot of guilt can arise when you don’t meet it. But you should never aim to ‘fix’ someone that you love; it’s all about helping them help themself, and that’s what we can help you with here. If your partner needs mental health care right now, we’ve got some tips down below that could work out for you both.
Be Open About Your Own Worries
You’re unlikely to not notice when your partner is struggling with their mental health. As a result, it’s best to bring it up with them. Don’t let the issue sit in silence, or unintentionally make your partner feel you’re not there for them. Instead, sit them down and bring the problem out into the open, even if it’s hard to do so.
You’re allowed to talk about things, including your own worries for the person you love the most. Whether you want to talk about visiting Real Deal Outpatient Rehab, or you’ve noticed things like their appetite or personal hygiene slipping, you can gently approach the subject and reassure your partner you’re there for them when they really need you.
Be Proud of Their Successes
Whenever your partner makes a small stride towards bettering their mental health, celebrate it with them, or even for them. Even something as small as saying ‘well done’ after they’ve brushed their teeth for the first time in a week, or when they’ve cooked themself a meal at an appropriate time, make sure you speak up and say something proud.
This way you can inject a bit of positivity into the atmosphere when there’s a heavy note in the air. It helps to keep things light, makes sure your partner knows you’re truly there for them, and you’re able to still see them for the bright and intelligent person they really are. Nothing has changed in the way you view them, and you’re happy when they’re doing well – that’s very motivating!
Do Something Active Together
Going for some exercise is very good for you, both mentally and physically. When your partner is in a bout with their mental health, why not get them out of the house and do something to get them moving? Even just getting them to step outside the door could really help.
Visiting the beach and going for a swim, visiting the nearest forest and going for a hike, or getting on your bicycles together and going round the park – these are all great but manageable ways to encourage activity. This’ll get the endorphins firing in your partner’s head, which helps to lift stress and shake off anxiety. Your nervous system will benefit, and in turn your loved one’s mental health will feel a lot lighter.
Be a Sense of Motivation for Them
Motivation takes energy, and when you feel like you can only get in and out of bed, that’s going to be in short supply. So, if they can’t sum it up themselves, be the motivation they really need right now. And that doesn’t have to be as hard as you might first think.
Indeed, if they can’t look after themselves, or feel unable to try out their usual activities, be that spark of extraneous source they’re in need of. A sense of motivation never goes amiss during times like this; a kind word, a bit of praise, a small touch of encouragement, and you could really get them there.
Take Some Time Apart
Of course, the more you try to be there for your partner, the less time you’re going to have for yourself. And if you spend weeks doing your best to be there for the person you love, you’re going to soon run out of energy yourself. That’s why taking time apart could also be the one thing you really need right now.
Even your partner could be in need of a break; being together is helping them immensely, but sometimes you need to step away and try something unusual for the daily grind. If you can, take a couple days out of the house, or simply head out for a few hours with some other friends. A breath of fresh air could make all the difference!
Try to Be Patient
If it’s been a while since your partner last seemed like themself, you’re likely to be running thin on patience. After all, you’re both adults with responsibilities, and if you’ve been picking up the slack a lot more often, you may be rather quick to frustration at the moment. And that’s normal, even if you feel very guilty about the thoughts or reactions it might cause!
But remember, you’re doing everything you can to make sure your significant other is OK, and your partner is slowly making progress as well. If you celebrate the little things, you’re much more likely to see the baby steps along the journey. Even a few negative thoughts come with trying to be positive, and it’s important you never hate yourself for that!
Don’t Forget About Your Own Self Care
Like we said above, the more you care for someone else, the less likely you are to care for yourself. So it’s very important you don’t give up on self care activities right now; you need to indulge in yourself now more than ever! It’s no bad thing for you to want this kind of time right now either, especially if you want to continue being there for your partner.
So, whether this means taking a spa bath or shopping for some scented candles you know have the power to relax you, make sure you do it. Even just taking 20 minutes to complete a self care activity will help you feel energized during this period. You’re investing in yourself, making sure you feel good inside and out – that always works!
Support Them with Their Mental Health Activities
If they’re off to counselling, or they’re going through a program, or they need to refill their mediation, help them along the way. Give them a lift if need be, pick them up afterwards, ask them about how it all went and if they want to talk about anything.
The more interest you show here, and the more physical support you offer, the easier it’s going to be for your partner to come out of their slump on time and with the resilient mindset they need.
When your partner goes through a mental health crisis, it’s normal to be concerned for both them and yourself. After all, you want to be there for them, but you always need to have a sense of care for your own health too. But using tips like these above, you can beat back the guilt and offer the right amount of support to your significant other. Whatever it is you both need, you can reach out for it at a time like this.