In a relationship, the adage ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ truly comes to life. Navigating life as a team means making decisions with a collective perspective, ensuring you’re never alone in tackling the myriad challenges of adulthood.
This concept extends seamlessly into the realm of mental health. When one partner struggles, it inevitably impacts the other, intertwining your emotional well-being. Supporting a partner through mental health challenges can be taxing, and it’s natural to feel overwhelmed at times.
Relationships inherently come with expectations, and it’s not uncommon to experience guilt when you feel you’re falling short. However, it’s important to remember that your role isn’t to ‘fix’ your loved one, but rather to support them in finding their own path to healing. In this guide, we focus on empowering you to provide effective support.
If your partner is currently in need of mental health care, the tips we offer below aim to provide strategies beneficial for both of you.
Be Open About Your Own Worries
Being open about your own concerns is crucial, especially when you notice your partner struggling with mental health issues. It’s important to address these concerns rather than letting them linger in silence, which could inadvertently make your partner feel isolated or unsupported. Create a safe space for conversation, and broach the subject with care, even though it may be challenging.
Remember, it’s not just about discussing their struggles; your feelings matter too. Whether it’s considering a visit to Real Deal Patient Rehab or expressing concern over changes in their appetite or personal hygiene, it’s essential to communicate openly. By gently initiating these discussions, you provide a comforting assurance to your partner, reinforcing that you’re there for them in their time of need.
Be Proud of Their Successes
Celebrating your partner’s achievements, no matter how small, is vital in their journey towards better mental health. Acknowledge their progress, whether it’s a simple ‘well done’ for brushing their teeth after a challenging week or recognizing when they manage to cook a meal at a regular time. Your words of encouragement can have a profound impact.
Such positive reinforcement can lighten the atmosphere during tough times. It serves not only to uplift your partner but also to remind them of your unwavering support and your recognition of their intrinsic qualities. Emphasizing their successes helps reinforce that your perception of them remains unchanged and full of admiration. Your happiness in their progress is not just heartening – it’s a powerful motivator.
Do Something Active Together
Exercise is immensely beneficial, both for mental and physical well-being. When your partner is grappling with mental health challenges, encouraging them to engage in physical activity can be incredibly helpful. Sometimes, even the simple act of stepping outside can make a significant difference.
Consider activities that are enjoyable yet manageable, such as a swim at the beach, a hike in the nearest forest, or a leisurely bike ride around the park. These activities are not only enjoyable but also effective in stimulating endorphin production, which can alleviate stress and reduce anxiety. Engaging in these activities together not only benefits the nervous system but also contributes to a lighter and more positive mental state for your loved one.
Be a Sense of Motivation for Them
Motivation often requires energy, which can be scarce when someone is struggling with mental health issues. In such times, when your partner finds it challenging to muster motivation, your support can become the driving force they need. And offering this motivation can be simpler than it seems.
When your partner is unable to care for themselves or engage in their usual activities, your encouragement can be the vital spark they need. A sense of motivation, even from an external source, can be incredibly impactful during such periods. A kind word, a bit of praise, or a small gesture of encouragement can go a long way in helping them regain their footing and make progress.
Take Some Time Apart
Supporting your partner consistently can inadvertently lead to less time for self-care. Being there for your loved one is crucial, but it’s equally important to recognize that continuously pouring your energy into someone else’s well-being can be draining for you. Hence, taking some time apart is not just beneficial but sometimes necessary.
Your partner might also benefit from a bit of space. While your support is invaluable to them, a change in routine or a brief separation can be refreshing. If possible, consider spending a couple of days away from home, or simply take a few hours to reconnect with friends. Such breaks can provide a much-needed breath of fresh air for both of you, recharging your energies and offering a fresh perspective.
Try to Be Patient
If your partner hasn’t been themselves for some time, it’s natural to feel your patience wearing thin. As adults with responsibilities, constantly covering for someone else can lead to frustration, and feeling this way is normal, even if it brings about guilt for certain thoughts or reactions.
It’s important to remember that you’re doing your utmost to support your partner, who is also making gradual progress. Focusing on and celebrating the small victories can help you both recognize and appreciate the incremental steps forward in this journey. Experiencing negative thoughts is a part of trying to maintain a positive outlook, and it’s crucial to not be hard on yourself for these moments. Accepting these feelings as a natural part of the process is key to caring for both your partner and yourself.
Don’t Forget About Your Own Self Care
As mentioned earlier, the more you invest in caring for someone else, the easier it is to neglect your own self-care. That’s why it’s crucial, now more than ever, to continue indulging in self-care activities. Prioritizing your well-being isn’t selfish; it’s essential, especially if you want to maintain your ability to support your partner.
Self-care can take many forms. It might be as simple as enjoying a spa bath or purchasing some scented candles that you know have a calming effect on you. Even dedicating just 20 minutes to a self-care activity can significantly boost your energy during this period. Remember, you’re investing in yourself, ensuring that you feel good both inside and out. Such practices are not just beneficial; they’re a necessary part of maintaining your own health and happiness.
Support Them with Their Mental Health Activities
When your partner is actively seeking help, such as attending counseling sessions, participating in a program, or needing to refill their medication, your support can be invaluable. Offer practical assistance like giving them a ride to their appointments or picking them up afterward. Engage in conversations about their experiences, asking how it went and if they feel like discussing anything.
Showing genuine interest and providing tangible support can significantly ease your partner’s journey towards recovery. Your involvement not only helps them in overcoming their current challenges but also contributes to building the resilience they need for the future. The more support you offer, the more empowered your partner may feel to emerge from their difficult phase with a strengthened mindset.
Facing a mental health crisis with your partner can naturally lead to concerns for both their well-being and your own. It’s a delicate balance between offering support to your significant other and maintaining your own health. However, by utilizing the tips outlined above, you can navigate these challenges with more confidence. These strategies help in mitigating feelings of guilt and ensure that you provide the appropriate level of support. Remember, it’s okay to reach out for what both you and your partner need during times like these. With the right approach, you can both move forward stronger and more connected.