Every single journey toward wellness is as unique as each individual seeking it. No one routine is the same as the next, and that’s the beauty of it. We’re all nourished spiritually, mentally, and physically by different things, and that extends to self-care—the practices that make us feel happy, confident, and whole.
So much of the self-care conversation has centered around the idea of “you do you,” which—don’t get us wrong—is awesome and very much needed. But as 2019 kicks off, we’re focusing on expanding self-care to include an often overlooked yet major common denominator for everyone’s wellness: our personal relationships.
Research has shown that strong ties and relationships are a significant marker of happiness and quality of life. But whether it’s strengthening a romantic relationship, connecting deeper with a family member, or reconnecting with an old friend, every bond is different. “Relationships are a lot like houseplants: Some plants are high maintenance and need a lot of care and specific environment, but they are unique and beautiful. Other plants require hardly anything,” says Christy Haas, a relationship counselor based in Cincinnati. “Being aware of what your relationship needs and cultivating that is so important,” she adds. “Knowing what your loved one requires to feel connected to you and vice versa is key.” For example, some people will be moved by receiving a heartfelt greeting card from you; others feel close to you by catching up every so often.