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While winter is bearing down on us and causing a general desire for hibernation, some of us need to muster up motivation just to get daily tasks done.  However, some people thrive in the winter.

I am not one.

My husband, he asked me to use ‘Magnus’ as his pseudonym, loves cold weather.  We’re individuals, doing this thing called life, together.  We both have different interests but come together on multiple levels.  All relationships experience the ebb and flow of life stressors.  This brings me to “how do couples utilize self care on a daily basis”, and nurture themselves together?

As we consider this question, I also felt it was additionally important to have Magnus input, since he Is the other half to our marriage.  I asked him “what is something, that we do together, that is part of our self care?”  I found his response insightful, honest and true.  Not to mention, confirmation about suspicions of being each others “personal cheerleader”.  His response was “I like bowling and you don’t but you’re willing to go with me and spend time at the alley so I can bowl. I also like disc golf and you can’t throw a frisbee but we enjoy being outside while walking together.”

True, I’m terrible at long distance Frisbee and bowling.  But I do enjoy walking/hiking with him.  Walking outside together reminds me of our first date: we hiked at the Cincinnati Nature Center.  We’ve been married almost 6 years and together almost 9.  I think it’s important to go back to those first memories and tap into those early feelings of falling in love.  I support his interests, he in return supports mine.  To sum it up, one way we provide and engage in “self care” together is we mutually celebrate each other’s individuality and support personal interests.

Now it’s time for me to answer and I’ve been contemplating the question.  I totally agree with Magnus.  While I can’t think of a better answer, I can only add to his response.  Respect, trust and love are the foundation of our relationship and self care is the energy to keep us moving forward together.

When it comes to supporting each others’ personal interests, I love cooking!  I love the challenge of trying a new recipe.  I love to feed people and share.  Cooking and creating dishes are part of my personal self care and Magnus has an expandable palate to support my desire to use the dinner plate, as a painter uses canvas.  Not only does he try everything I concoct but also assists with food prep and clean up.  I’m a lucky lady!  Cooking is something that I enjoy and he supports me by sharing the “dirty work”.  His level of assistance may vary, but I’ll never give him a hard time about it. I’m just happy he’s supporting me and there to eat in the end!

I talked about our individual interests but I want to expand on our mutual interest: gardening.  Gardening is a major interest to us both and requires copious amounts of support.  Our garden is the epicenter of our home.  We start seedlings.   Magnus has to till the soil.   We map out our preferred planting with crop rotation from previous years. We plant. I weed–a ton. We harvest and I cook it or process it.  We share it with neighbors and family free of charge.  This is a continuous cycle.  This process starts around February and runs sometimes into November.  We are, for all practical purposes, farmers.  If you have ever lived on a farm you know the work is sun up to sun down.  He and I gain so much from running the garden together.  We’re mutually invested in eating from a ‘clean’ perspective as much as possible.  We share in the fruits of our labor.  We have satisfaction of a successful harvest and a job well done.  We put in blood, sweat, and tears together.  We have to work together as a team to make it all happen.  For us, nothing is more satisfying than the time we spend together, in our garden.  It is a year round topic of conversation in our home.

I feel it’s important for couples to nurture at least one mutual interest together.  I understand all couples are different.  However, I believe all healthy relationships share an intertwining passion on some level.  Romantic and platonic.  Self care should be sought, encouraged and enjoyed together and individually.

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