Two pieces of advice I received in my life changed the way I think about relationships.
First, my grandmother, who was married for 62 years to her best friend and my grandfather, said, “Anyone who tells you their relationship is perfect is lying to you. Perfect relationships do not exist.”
The second came from a wise friend I knew long ago who said, “Don’t marry someone you can live with. Marry someone you can’t live without.”
Relationships can be stressful, rewarding, incredibly fun, mind-blowing, and any other adjective you can think of. Getting through difficult times and coming out on the other side as a team builds a foundation of respect and teaches you the true power of love. No one is perfect and accepting those imperfections allows you to consistently reinforce your love. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are other things you can do outside of the relationship that will help solidify your loving connection for one another.
Strengthening the Bond
Aside from seeing your partner as a person with their own worries, their own fears, and their own struggles, be sure to also care for your own mind and body. Taking care of yourself will help you keep a positive outlook on the world and, therefore, a more pleasant view of others. The better we nurture ourselves, the better we can nurture others.
Eating healthy and exercising are great ways to ensure a healthy attitude, but having the energy and wherewithal to do those activities means getting some rest. Good sleep is key to full, healthy perspectives.
In a study published in the journal SLEEP entitled, “Sleep deprivation differentially affects subcomponents of cognitive control,” researchers concluded, “The results support the notion that sleep deprivation is more detrimental to cognitive functions that are relatively more dependent on mental effort and/or cognitive capacity, as opposed to more automatic control processes.”
In other words, our ability to reason, be attentive, and attain knowledge is impaired when we’re sleep deprived. Being attentive to another’s needs is not an “automatic control process,” as this study states, but a necessary tool to have when growing and developing a partnership. Lacking these functions can have negative effects on all relationships, whether romantic or platonic.
MusicMedicine for a Healthier Relationship
Feeling refreshed in the morning will have a domino effect on all your relationships. You’ll be more aware of other’s cues, more active, and your mental availability will be heightened.
If you have a bedtime routine, fantastic! Having a routine is very important to get a good night’s sleep. If not, try placing a speaker beside your bed, quiet enough to be calming but loud enough for your partner on the other side of the bed to enjoy.
Try HealthTunes’ “Circadian Rhythm” playlist to slip into the first stage of sleep when you lie down for the night. Slowly drift off while listening to the sounds of waves breaking on the shoreline. Wrap your arms around your partner and feel the comfort of intimacy. As the soothing sounds flow over you, pay attention to your breath and the tempo of the music. In no time, you’ll wake up in the morning with the sun shining. When you do, take a deep breath and remember that another day is as much a blessing as finding love.
Falling in love with blissful slumber
Embrace the beauty of what rest can bring to both you and your partner. No, it won’t make your relationship perfect — remember what my grandmother said — but it certainly can make you relax into the joy of being with someone you can’t live without. After all, when you don’t get enough sleep, you can become groggy, irritable, and lack patience. Those negative traits won’t pair so well with maintaining a strong rapport with your companion. So, on this day of love, why not give the gift of sleeping well? Delve into a good night’s rest and wake up fresh to face the world together as a team.
Happy Valentine’s Day!