This is not quite the herbalism topic that we tend to have here, but due to so many of you asking after our aphrodisiac article, we thought we’d dive deep into up-leveling some relationship dynamics.
We all know these are unprecedented times. The pandemic marks uncharted territory and it’s taking a toll on our relationships, big time. Never before have we had to spend so much time, in such close proximity to our partner, and with lockdowns and quarantining, it can feel like a huge challenge when things were once a breeze.
For even the healthiest of relationships, Covid is shaking things up. The person we once thought we knew, at times, may feel like we don’t know anymore. Maybe because of the toll it has taken on our mental-emotional health. Or maybe it’s just that we’ve never been forced to be with one person for so long without having the option of running off to the office, picking the kids up from school, going out with friends, or even a trip to a local coffee shop to clear your mind.
Many of us are suffering mentally and it’s harder than ever to navigate relationships. There's a breakup and divorce boom happening and experts are saying we haven’t seen the worst of it.
On the flip side, we can view this as an opportunity to really get to know our partner and create a lasting bond. All everyone wants is to love and be loved in return and this is a real chance to unearth what’s beneath the surface to truly love someone, flaws and all, and to also share your shadow side with your loved one. It’s scary, but sometimes the unknown is like that. However, once you come out on the other side, it’s actually the ultimate blessing.
There are so many layers of what we are dealing with. But there is hope. Through self-care, conscious communication, and a few relationship tips, there are ways to strengthen your partnership. Here are a few ideas to keep your relationship strong through these trying times.
1. Start with Yourself
It’s easy to find fault and point the finger at your partner. There are a million reasons to feel irritable right now. But if you take time to look within and hold the “mirror” up at yourself, you will find things that you can work on to improve as well. We are all human and doing ‘the work’ is what this life is about. Becoming more aware, expanding consciousness, and becoming a better person. It’s okay to admit that you’re struggling and knowing that you’re both doing your best can take away some of the intensity out of it all and create empathy and compassion for one another.
2. Self Care is Paramount
Find ways to take care of yourself because when we treat ourselves with love, we lead by example and in turn, show our partner how to treat us. Things like staying active through hiking outdoors, yoga, dance, or any kind of movement that feels good in your body can work wonders for your mood. Try things that are known to release endorphins and do them often. Self-care can also be finding a quiet space outdoors to connect with nature, curling up with a good book, or it can be in a cup of tea (infused with Mucuna for a dopamine boost), a warm ritual bath, or a self-massage.
3. Keep Your Mental Health in Check
We’re all going through the wringer and maintaining a sane relationship is going to be a huge challenge if we don’t keep our own mental health in check. Find a good therapist if you need someone to talk to. Start a journaling practice to express all the feelings you’re experiencing as a way to process it all. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good and inspire you (yes, even on a zoom call). Find positive ways to release frustration instead of taking it out on the people closest to you. There are also herbs you can use to increase your mental performance and enhance your mood like the ones we have in our blend, The Mind.
4. Give and Receive Physical Touch
The effect of not being in community and seeing our extended family and friends can sometimes feel heartbreaking. Not being able to hug and touch is another major issue. Touch deprivation affects our mental health and physical wellbeing. Most of us have not been to many social gatherings where a handshake, rub on the back or hug were once commonplace. Now we’re dealing with the effects of touch deprivation and it’s not pretty.
“[Physical touch is] as important as the oxygen we breathe in, the food we eat – we are social beings,’ says Dr. McGlone, Professor of Neuroscience and head of the Somatosensory & Affective Neuroscience Group at Liverpool John Moores University. But with the given circumstances of prolonged physical separation, it is difficult for an individual to fight against their innate nature.”
Give your partner as much loving physical affection as possible. Snuggling in bed, massages, cuddling up for movie night, and love-making all release those wonderful endorphins to enhance joy. Needless to say, we all need as many feel-good hormones as possible. Which brings us to…
Yeah, we said it! Don’t let your sex life suffer. This is the perfect excuse for some good ‘ol love-making. There are herbs that are tried and true mojo boosters like the ones in our Euphoria: Spirit + Love Elixir is known to awaken loving awareness within the body. Share this love elixir with your beloved to uplift both of your moods, increase libido and sexual desire, uplift the spirit with joy and promote loving connection by opening the heart.
6. Get Good Sleep
We all know that sleep is a pillar of health, but we’re learning it's more important than we even thought. It helps us recharge and gives us the energy we need to take on the day. It helps us process stress and tough emotions we’ve experienced throughout the day. And if nothing else, it allows us to be less snappy and reactive when it comes to others. Our Dream Tea helps restore the nervous system while promoting deep, restful sleep (and often wonderfully vivid, lucid dreams).
7. Embrace Commitment
If you want a long-lasting relationship, one of the key elements is commitment and there’s no way around it. Anything you want to last takes time, effort, and making a promise with yourself and to each other that you’re going to stick it out and do everything you can to make it work. Relationships, just like everything else, go through ups and downs and you have to be willing not to throw in the towel after a tough argument or emotions. Be honest with your partner about what you’re feeling and when you are or aren't feeling the love. Listen to their feedback and open your heart to make adjustments to cater to their love language.
8. Learn How To Communicate
One thing we’re not typically taught in school is how to consciously communicate. When we are triggered, in a heated argument and our anger is getting the best of us, what do we do to communicate our feelings accurately? There are a few tricks:
Put your words through the ‘3 gates’ before saying anything. These three gates/questions are:
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?