How to be the best partner when you’re not your best self

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I go through periods of major funks. I’m not clinically diagnosed with anything and I don’t want to say I’m dealing with anything close to those who do have diagnoses. I just have days or periods of days in a row when I’m not quite myself. I’m telling this to you guys because I think it’s important to be open about our mental health and realize that even people who are generally emotionally healthy have times in their lives when they’re not 100%. I think of it like my general health. I have a healthy body and immune system, but I still sometimes get sick. When I’m in one of those periods and in a relationship, sometimes being a good partner to my man is a struggle. Here’s how I try to be the best partner I can be when I’m not my best self.

Recognize what’s going on

The first step is to figure out what’s up with you. Clicking into this post makes me think you’re well on your way to getting this step done. Check in with yourself and ask if this is something you’ve gone through before or something new? Do you know what it is or how to deal with it?

Take care of yourself

Now that you know what’s going on, it’s time to do something about it. That may mean seeking professional help. I’m a major proponent of therapy. I think everyone can benefit from some time with a professional trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, but especially someone who’s not feeling like themselves. If you’re sure you’re not in need of therapy and maybe just dealing with a rough day or a bad hormonal swing, be kind to yourself. Get the sleep you need, eat nutritious food you like and cut yourself some slack. Make sure you’re doing everything and anything you can to make your life as easy as possible during this rough patch.

Talk to your partner

Your partner isn’t going to be able to read your mind and know exactly what’s going on with you, especially at first. A simple explanation that you need some alone time but it has nothing to do with them will go a long way. If you’re able to talk to your boo about what you need during this time, do it. If not, be sure you take some time once you’ve emerged from the funk to explain how you felt and how often that happens to you. Let them know what’s the best thing to do the next time you’re in that scenario.

Celebrate small things

When you’re in a bad place, it can be hard to be positive about life in general. So, don’t force it. But, you want to be positive about specific things, especially in terms of your relationship, to make sure your partner doesn’t feel crappy about your relationship just because you’re in a crappy mood. Maybe it’s something like, “I love how you make grilled cheese for me,” or “You look good in those sweatpants.” Let them know that you love them, even if you’re not loving life right now.

Again, these are tips from me, who has bad days sometimes. If you’re dealing with a significant mental struggle, this advice likely isn’t enough for you. I’d suggest going to speak to a professional. That’s not just the best thing to do for yourself, it’s the best thing to do for the ones you love, too.