Throughout your relationship, you do your best to ensure your partner is always happy and physically healthy. You may cook delicious meals, buy thoughtful gifts, and do everything you can to cheer them up when they feel low.
But have you ever thought about your partner’s mental health? What are you doing to ensure they’re happy and healthy on the inside? Sometimes they might be smiling and doing everything they usually do, yet silently struggling with their mental health. And it is not your fault that you can’t always tell. However, if you get the slightest inkling your partner may not be mentally healthy, try doing everything you can to ensure their mental well-being.
Mental Health & Its Importance
Just like physical health, mental health is essential to overall well-being. You cannot be physically healthy if your mental health is not in check. It is crucial to pay attention to both. Unfortunately, mental health often takes a backseat or is completely neglected over physical health.
Poor mental health can impact every single aspect of your life. It can negatively affect your relationships, job performance, physical fitness, and ability to enjoy hobbies or activities.
That’s why professionals worldwide emphasize the importance of mental health. And as the awareness increases, more people share their struggles with mental health issues.
There is also an influx of job options in the mental health field to help people better understand and care for their mental health. From therapists to counselors, there are numerous opportunities available.
How Can You Check In On Your Partner’s Mental Health?
Being in a relationship means being there for each other. You are a team. Part of being a supportive partner is checking in on your significant other’s mental health.
Here are seven tips to help you care for your partner’s mental health:
1. Educate yourself on mental health
If you aren’t a mental health professional, you may not be familiar with all the symptoms and concepts associated with mental illness. This can make it challenging to understand what your partner is dealing with daily.
One way to overcome this challenge is to educate yourself on mental health. Read books, articles, and blogs on the subject. Know the signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. And most importantly, be willing to learn more about your partner’s specific condition. It’s an ongoing process, but the more you understand what they’re dealing with, the better equipped you’ll be to support them.
2. Get to know your partner’s triggers
What stresses them out? What makes them happy? Pay attention to the things that positively or negatively affect your partner’s mood. Notice how they react to different situations and try to understand what might be happening beneath the surface. It will give you a better idea of how to support them and what to avoid. You’ll also be able to create a positive environment for them overall. Not to mention, it can help you avoid arguments about things that you didn’t even know were important to them.
3. Communicate openly
It’s essential to have open and honest communication with your partner, especially when it comes to mental health.
• Make sure you have regular conversations about how they’re feeling and what’s happening in their lives.
• Encourage them to share both the good and the bad with you.
Mental health can be a sensitive topic; approach these conversations with care. Avoid judgment, blame, or making them feel like they have to justify their feelings. Instead, provide support and understanding and let them know you’re by their side and want to help however you can.
4. Listen without judgment
When your partner shares their thoughts and feelings with you, lend a non-judgmental ear. Avoid interrupting them or trying to fix their problems. Just let them speak and express themselves. It can be difficult, but it’s essential to resist the urge to offer solutions and be there for them instead.
Moreover, do not take their feelings personally. It’s not about you, even if it may feel that way. They’re just going through a tough time and need your support. Assuming that everything they’re feeling is directed at you will only worsen the situation.
5. Establish healthy boundaries
You can’t be available 24/7 – and you shouldn’t have to be. Setting aside time for yourself to avoid burnout and recharge is vital. It might be challenging, especially if you’re used to putting your partner’s needs before yours. Still, it’s essential for your and your partner’s well-being.
• Set aside time each day to do something for yourself, even if it’s just 20 minutes
• Make sure you have a supportive network of friends and family to turn to
• Identify your triggers and warning signs so that you can take care of yourself before things get too overwhelming
• Talk to your partner about what they need from you and respect their wishes
• By working through these difficult times together, you can come out stronger and closer than ever before.
6. Encourage positive coping mechanisms
Every individual has a different way of coping with stress and negative emotions. It’s important to encourage your partner to find and use healthy coping mechanisms that work for them. This could mean going for walks, journaling, or listening to music.
7. Encourage them to seek professional help
If your partner struggles with mental health issues, they may benefit from seeing a therapist or counselor. Whether it is traditional therapy, online therapy, or another type of counseling, getting professional help will allow them to work through their issues in a safe and supportive environment.
If they’re reluctant, try to make them see there’s nothing wrong with getting professional help. Focus on how much better they will feel after getting help and how it will improve your relationship. You’ll likely need to be patient, as getting help for mental health can be a very personal decision.
The stigma surrounding mental health is slowly dissipating, but there is still an unfortunate amount of misinformation. If you’re concerned about your partner’s mental health, be supportive and understanding. Moreover, lending a listening ear, being patient, and encouraging them to seek help are small steps that can help your partner – and, in turn, your relationship – thrive.
Remember, you love this person and are in this together. No one else could understand what they’re going through better than you. So please show them your support and watch your relationship flourish.