How To Have More Time And Energy For Relationships

image - Flickr / Jonathan Kramer
image – Flickr / Jonathan Kramer

I totally understand that after a long day at work your neck and back can feel tense, your brain feels like mush and the last thing you want to do is force yourself to go out.

When you have this feeling day after day or week after week, it’s easy to criticize yourself for not doing more to invest in relationships. “What’s my problem?” you think. “Why don’t I have the time and energy to spend more time with people?”

But fortunately, there’s a better way…

As the research in the New York Times’ article “Go Easy on Yourself” explains, self compassion actually leads to better habit change than self criticism. That’s why you can increase your capacity for relationships by doing more of what you feel like doing versus what you think you “should” do.

Here are some practical action steps to make this happen:

  • Think about what you find energizing such as reading at a beautiful library, running along the lake, or attending a concert.
  • Brainstorm how you could include these activities in your time that you spend cultivating current relationships or investing in new ones.
  • Decide on a time each week where you will contact people who might enjoy participating in these activities with you.
  • Give yourself permission to do some of these activities on your own if no one can join you, but you would feel really energized by completing them.

By taking this more compassionate approach toward yourself, you’ll have the opportunity to do more of what you enjoy and attract the kind of people who love participating in these activities with you. Also, making dates an intentional part of your weekly planning decreases the chance that you won’t go out because you’re too tired to make a decision at the end of the day.

You can increase your dating life by doing a little more to love yourself in 2012.

To your brilliance! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This post originally appeared at Real Life.

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