With Valentine's day in a couple of days, I thought this week's post would be dedicated to relationships, specifically romantic relationships and dating. I'm sure most of you are wondering what this has to do with health and why I'm wasting your time, but trust me, I'm going somewhere with this!
When I was putting this series together, I had to think long and hard about how relationships impact health and more specifically, in what ways. The two areas that came to mind for me were emotional and mental health as these, in my experience (and in the people I spoke to) have been the two areas of health that have felt the greatest impact when dating.
Relationships can go either way; they can be vey beneficial or very volatile. They can either increase or improve your health or they can hurt your health. After speaking to a close friend, she told me quite clearly that she has experienced both the positive and negative effects of being in a relationship. After speaking with her, I was forced to examine my outlook on relationships.
To me, relationships are draining. Anyone that knows me knows that I always say I don't have time for them. I mean come on, you mean I have to call one person every night and buy them stuff on Feb 14th? I have to stress out over "hard times" and disagreements? As I always say, abeg, more pressing matters dey for ground! As in, why should I be so bothered with such? After speaking to my friend, I was able to gain a greater perspective on this whole thing that I claim not to subscribe to.
*Although I have this outlook, that does not mean I am "anti-Valentine's Day" (check out youtube for make-up tutorials about this! I'm so serious)*
Regardless of your relationship status, (Single, Dating, Happily Committed, Married) you should be grateful. I think it is important to always take whichever phase you are in life and thrive in it. There are a multitude of health benefits to gratitude and most importantly, being grateful attracts good things and allows you to maintain joy. Joy is something that no matter what your relationship status is, can't be taken away.
Being grateful benefits your physical health, your emotional health and improves your self-esteem. The last two benefits are especially important because being in a good place with who you are and your emotions are extremely important in maintaining any relationship, not just romantic.
When being grateful, it;s important to look at the upsides of every relationship status. When you're single, you have more time to yourself, when your dating, you are able to figure out what you like and dislike in a potential partner and when you are in a committed relationship or marriage, you have a lifelong partner (and potentially an increased waistline as one of my good friends pointed out ;) )
One thing that I notice and am guilty of is placing a lot of value or being so concerned about being attractive and having that validation come from other people, in my case a romantic partner. Whether we like it or not, doing things like this negatively impact our emotional health and often may drive us to do things to appear more appealing. A friend of mine told me about her experience with using waist trainers in order to appear more attractive to guys. She told me that she felt insecure about using it because she feared that any given guy she was dating would lose interest if he found out her "shape" was not real.
In addition to all of this, remember that Valentine's day is just that: a day. It is a day that is just like any other day. As my friend pointed out, even though it is just a day, you can use this opportunity to show love to anyone around you that you hold close to your heart.
Now with that said, for those of you that love me, I like chocolate and Sephora Gift cards if you feel so compelled to express your love on this upcoming Sunday...
Thanks for reading.