Maintaining Mental Health in Relationships

Even for those who do not suffer from a mental illness, keeping a healthy mental state is vital. We don’t want to be insensitive to our significant other, family or friends who deal with a mental illness and may need some extra attention. 

When me and my boyfriend started dating, I expressed to him that I suffer from depression and anxiety. It was something he was familiar with from a previous relationship, but he wasn’t very educated. I also let him know “if my mental illness becomes too much you can leave.” At that point I wasn’t in therapy or taking care of myself. He assured me that he didn’t want to leave and would help me as much as he could. Since that moment he has taken time to be educated, understand me, and offer support. I try my best to not be too dependent on him as to not be a negative trigger to his mental health. 

So what are some ways we can maintain our mental health in a relationship, whether you deal with a  mental Illness or not? I’ve come up with a few things that will be sure to keep your friendships, family relationships, or romantic relationship running smoothly. 

  1. Know that it’s okay to not be okay. Don’t hide what you are going through. Someone may be able to help by listening, suggesting professional help, or suggesting self care. Putting on a front when you really aren’t doing the best will only hinder you. Expressing what you’re feeling can be the start of figuring out how to fix it.

  2. Say no. I was told “No, is a complete sentence.” Don’t be scared to say no to your friends, family or significant other if what they are asking of you is too much. You always have a choice and shouldn’t feel the need to always say yes. They will understand. 

  3. Seek outside help. As much as we want our loved ones to support and help us, sometimes we need more help than they can give. Going to a professional doesn’t make you crazy or weird; it’s hard for a lot of people to admit they need help. The great thing about professional help is that it’s their job to help you get and feel better.

  4. Practice self care. Practice doing things that make you feel good and/or happy. At times we get lost in what our friends, family or significant other likes that we stop doing the things we love. Make those things a priority again. 

When it comes to your mental health you want to take it seriously. The people around us are an everyday part of our life. In order to keep our relationships healthy we have to keep ourselves healthy. There’s nothing wrong with wanting support from them but we have to be careful with how much we put on others.

How do you maintain your mental health in your relationships? 

Mental matters because you matter....