February 2017:Your Mind, Mood, and Body Matters
Better Health Beginning Today
It's that time of the year: Every February we celebrate relationships. We saw hearts everywhere. We were celebrating love.
Did you need to light the sparks? Or just a gentle reminder? Did you get chocolates, jewelry, flowers, or a candle lit dinner? Did you go on an exotic vacation, or perhaps spent quiet moments at home with family and friends? Or still, did you spend time nurturing your awesome self?
That's just one day of the year!
What happens on the other days? As February winds to a close, how can we carry the spirit of love, caring, romance and togetherness through the rest of the year?
I received several suggestions for a Dr. Seuss quote. It may show up soon enough! This quote reminds me of our communication with our loved ones. We expect to be understood because “he/she should know by now.” Maybe yes if we could all read minds! Do we really say what we mean or mean what we say?
"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!" - Dr. Seuss
Mean what you say. Say what you mean. Not only on Valentines Day. Everyday. What are you doing now to growand nurture the relationships in your life? What’s hurting your relationships? Could you let go of these hurts?
What else could you do to strengthen your relationships year-round?
Here are some suggestions for growing your relationships year round.
10 Tips to Nurture Your Relationships
- Actively listen. Hear the words, clarify, and ask questions. Watch body language.
- Don't interrupt, even if you think you have the perfect solutions! Try not to make assumptions about what people mean.
- Love the ones you're with, discard the electronics and distractions that take your focus away from those you love.
- Open your heart: don't be afraid to be vulnerable in tender moments.
- Celebrate each other, try to be spontaneous while spending time together.
- Be goofy, laugh as much as you can, as often as you can.
- Value the whole person, accept and affirm those you love, and learn more about their dreams, goals, and fears.
- Offer security and safety. Share uncertainty.
- What don't you know? Take every opportunity to learn something new about those you love.
- Take responsibility for your own joy. While love can enrich your life, you are the only person who can truly make yourself happy.
Finally, accept emotional bids. Drop defensiveness. Learn to recognize these bids. The Gottmans are world renowned authorities on relationships. They found that when we are defensive we miss our partners “bid for connection.” Did you notice a smile but you are still upset about the socks on the bedroom floor or the dishes in the sink or a missed bid for connection! Did you just hear, “how long are you going to stay up on that computer, iPad, Kindle. Your partner likely wanted to spend time with you. Sometimes we do not recognize when our partner is making a bid for connection because it's wrapped in criticism. We react to their negativity and miss the opportunity to connect. They encourage openness to these seemingly small bids for connection. Why not make some bids too.
Valentines Day may be over but do make sure you spend some time all year nurturing your relationships.
I hope you enjoyed reading this month's newsletter. If you have feedback, get in touch!
If you're curious about the large peach frilly flower, it's an Ethel Barfield Smith, another variant of my favorite flower, the day lily! What are some of your favorite things?
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Until next time, breathe slowly, and be mindful!
Jumoke Omojola is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Independent Therapist in Omaha, Nebraska. Contact me for a free 30 minute consultation