Love Yourself First

When we are in a long term relationship, it’s because we love the person we are with. Unfortunately, that love can turn sour if you spend all of your time giving love to another person, and not taking care of yourself. Loving yourself is key to a great partnership – even if it seems a little backwards.

One of the oldest laws known to man was: Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.

My question is: How can you possibly love your neighbor if you can’t even love yourself? How can you possibly love your significant other if the love for self is not there?

Which is why I wrote this post. To help you show love for others by first showing yourself love.

With that said, here are a few ways you can strengthen your relationship through self care.

Learn to Say “NO” to What Makes You Uncomfortable

Tree Bark that says NO

Setting boundaries is an important part of taking care of yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable with something your other half wants you to do, forcing yourself to do so is as good as agreeing that this should be a normal part of your routine. If your significant other wants to go to a sports game and you don’t want to sit there for hours waiting for it to be over—don’t. You’ll both be happier doing something you enjoy together, rather than simply getting into a tug-of-war over which event to go to.

Being forced to go places you don’t want to aren’t the only examples of boundaries. One spouse should not be in charge of all household chores. Men can wash dishes as well as women. Men shouldn’t be pressured into fixing the car or doing household maintenance, especially if they don’t know how. Being a man doesn’t automatically make you an expert in all things handy.

Set boundaries when you have disagreements as well. It’s best to work that out ahead of time. Words cannot be taken back. Once they’ve been said they will remain in your partner’s mind forever. If you know that you have a temper, explain that. When a disagreement happens walk away until the temper part is gone so it can be discussed.

As with children there should be time when the bathroom is off limits. Long term relationships can make people feel comfortable with each other, but no one wants to be in the middle of using their body scrubber in the tub when their other half decides to use the toilet. No one needs to be that comfortable with another person.

Also keep your children in mind when setting boundaries. Make sure your spouse is on the same page with you about rules and discipline. Also make sure that which child does what chore is known.

Make Going Out with Friends a Part of Your Routine

Friends Hanging Out!

Being married doesn’t mean you have to give up your friends. It also doesn’t mean that you have to bring your spouse along. Go out with the girls and watch a chick flick. Head out with the boys and have a beer while you watch sports. It’s a healthy way to relax and have some time to just be you.

There are also problems that talking to someone of the same gender can help resolve, and not just relationship wise. No matter how close you are with your spouse, certain topics are better off talked about with other people.

Keep up your interests

Guitar Player Hobby

Most people have hobbies. Being married doesn’t mean that you have to give them up. If you like to read, get books and spend time enjoying them. If you like to cook, get the fancy ingredients or that neat cooking gadget, if bubble baths are your thing, buy yourself a new body scrubber and make bath night a priority.

This includes interests that your spouse may not necessarily approve of. If your passion is video gaming, you don’t have to give it up because there is a whole world of other things you can be doing. Your spouse married you for who you are, games and all.

Get enough rest

Get Plenty of Rest

Studies show that people who don’t get enough rest have lower immunity and don’t live as long. They also indicate that you are more likely to get into a car accident or have a mishap at work from exhaustion. If you’ve ever met a toddler who is late for their nap, you get an unfiltered view of how all of us feel when we’re too tired. Getting rest can stop petty fights from happening in the first place, and make everyone feel better.

Watch your diet

Avocados - Watch Your Diet

If you only have a half an hour for lunch, going to the fast food place and getting a burger, fries and cola may sound like the best option available. Those burgers can have an unfortunate side effect however, both in how you feel, and the direction the scale goes when you check your weight next.

A healthy diet can help improve mood, make yourself feel better, and keep you healthy. If you only have a limited time for lunch, bring a packed lunch so you can choose healthy food. At dinner it doesn’t take a lot of extra time to make something that has plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in it. You can even improve cup-a-noodles from absolutely terrible by throwing in extra vegetables.

Taking care of yourself is an important part of a relationship. Your mental well being is as important as the physical. With a little effort you will find that your relationship will strengthen.

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Why Taking a Shower Every Day is Good for Your Health (except when it’s not)

Nobody wants to stink. If someone admits that they don’t shower every day, they are likely to be given a wide birth and treated as some kind of walking sack of germs. It’s true that staying clean is important, and we should all bathe regularly in order to be healthy and fresh. The question is, how often is regularly? Is once a week fine? Twice a week? Every day? Twice a day?

Health Benefits to Showering

These questions can make it really hard to make a good decision on how often we should be showering. Unless you have eczema or another skin problem exacerbated by constant soap and water, hitting the showers every day is highly beneficial, and here are 6 great reasons why:

Reduces Acne

Nobody likes waking up to a huge, unsightly blemish on their face. Acne happens for a variety of reasons, but many of those reasons can be traced back to plugged sweat glands. Keeping a body scrubber in the shower and using it to exfoliate is a great way to keep those sweat glands clear. It’ll also give your skin a healthy glow since exfoliating removes dead skin cells as well.

Helps You Think

We all need a little time to ourselves to just let our minds run. Being alone with our thoughts is almost impossible, especially if you have kids, but those few minutes in the shower are often the opportunity our mind needs to turn over problems and come up with new ideas.

If you’re ever stuck in a story, or not sure how to move forward with a project at work, try taking a shower. You might be surprised at the ingenious solution you come up with just from a few minutes in the shower.

Helps You Heal

There is truly something amazing about the ability of water to heal. Whether it is drinking enough of it, or spending time under it, water can make almost anything better. The hot spray from a shower can help ease the pain from injuries, as well as relax tense muscles. Turn it to a cold spray to reduce inflammation and treat pain in an entirely different matter.

When you’re feeling sick, a hot steamy shower can unclog your nose and help soothe irritated sinuses. This is an especially great trick for pregnant or breastfeeding women who can’t take cold medications without harming their child. For women who are pregnant, a shower can also help with nose bleeds, a common side effect, and breastfeeding women can find relief from engorgement with a nice hot shower.

If you’re feeling unwell, try a quick shower to perk yourself back up.

Lowers Stress

We all know how great it feels to step into a nice hot blast and truly indulge in a toasty warm shower. Taking showers is one of the greatest simple pleasures out there, and it is no surprise really that it can lower stress and just plain make you feel good. Coping with a hard day at work doesn’t have to mean indulging in a Netflix binge, you can wash your cares away with a shower.

Insomnia? Try a Shower!

Many of us take showers during the day, but a nice warm shower at night can be good for you too. Hot showers have a natural sedative effect that helps us prepare for bed. Not only does it give us a reason to put our screens down (they burn away our melatonin and pretty much guarantee a poor night’s sleep) the white noise caused by the shower and the rhythmic pulse of the water all combine to prepare us beautifully for bed time.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, don’t make the problem worse by flipping open your phone to scroll through facebook, instead, hit the showers.

Need to Wake up? Try a Shower!

Wait, what? Didn’t we just go over how showers make us sleepy? Well, yes. A hot shower is the perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep, but if you want to be alert and ready for the day, a cold shower will get you there fast. Taking an icy cold shower will blast you awake faster than the strongest cup of coffee, and what’s more, it has other benefits too. A cold shower will also boost your immunity, and may increase your willpower. (After forcing yourself to turn that knob to arctic temperatures, saying no to that extra cookie will be easy.)

Reasons to Shower in the Morning

While cold showers aren’t very pleasant, they do the job wonderfully. If you need to wake up, give it a try.

Showering every day is wonderful for most people. You should avoid showering daily (with hot water anyway) if you live in a dry or cold climate or have a skin condition that gets worse with daily showering. Otherwise, a daily shower is extremely beneficial for you in almost every aspect of your life.

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Art is the Beauty in Everything

I consider myself an artist. I believe everyone is – to an extent – an artist. Art – in my opinion – is doing things with flare. It’s not just music, wall-art, or acting, but doing things with a personal touch.

A great example of this is a cop in New York City break-dancing as he’s directing traffic. Still doing his job, but doing it in style. He put his own spin on it.

Another good example is the nurse who organizes a birthday surprise cake for an elderly lonely patient. She did her job, but also put her out of the box thinking cap on while she did it. In my books, only artists think outside of the box.

TV commercials are going great lengths now to blow the viewer’s expectation and imagination. So much so that we’ve come to expect it. If it is a crappy commercial, our perception of the brand being promoted goes down the drain. If it is an original out of the box idea, our perception of the brand goes up.

A great example of this is a breast firming serum comercial being shown on late night TV. We see a lady stand in front of the mirror admiring her large bust, and then she pulls the picture away from in front of her. Turns out she wasn’t admiring her breasts, but rather that she was wishing those were hers… as hers obviously weren’t as voluptuous.

So, we’ve come to expect brilliant art in marketing. Why can’t we expect it everywhere else as well? With a few critical exceptions, isn’t art what helps us evolve as a civilization? Outside of the box thinking sure is. At least in my opinion.

Whatever we do, lets give our creativity some room. As in, let’s do things exceptionally well with our own touch. Our own flare of creativity. Let’s have our creativity be the cherry on that exceptionally delicious cake.

If we’re created in the image of God, let’s be creative as well. He sure was.

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Watching the 2016 Election

So it’s tuesday night and I’m sitting here, about to watch the last few votes get counted, and it dawns on me: I got this brand new popcorn machine that I won a few months ago. I never tried it out yet, mostly because I don’t usually watch all the much TV, but figured “Hey, now is as good a time to try it out as any!”

So I pulled it out of it’s box and popped myself some popcorn. I added some melted butter and sprinkled some salt on top of it and boy… it was delicious. Lékué makes one hell of a popcorn popper!

I never had a popcorn maker before, so the ease of using one – especially this one – was so awesome. So simple, so easy, yet so delicious.

popcorn-popper

So as I’m sitting here – crunching away on delicious yet buttery popcorn – watching the election unfold, I notice a shift happening. Not just in the election as to who is winning, but in the attitude of those that once called themselves the peaceful democrats. Their whole demeanor changed and they got violent during and right after the election.

I was saddened to say the least. Wasn’t voting part of being in a democracy? Isn’t part of being in a democracy that we accept the majority wins? Just because we did not win should not mean we reject the system. Doing so undermines the very nature of democracy.

All I know is I’m grateful I am not a politician. I’m also grateful that the next president didn’t appoint himself ruler over us. I am grateful that we have the rights and freedoms to vote. We have a platform that allows us to make our voice heard.

Most importantly though, I am grateful for popcorn. Nothing comforts like tastefully salted and buttery popcorn does on a lonely election night. At least not in my home.

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