My Account

Self-Care: Cherishing Yourself And Your Relationship

These are ideas that can keep you and your relationship from being overwhelmed in daily life. 

Share this post:

Couple walking
This posting, which concerns a recent study out of UC Berkeley on the relationship between sleep and relationship conflict, notes the importance of cultivating good habits in self-care. It’s one of the most critical tools in maintaining healthy relationships. Here are a few of Dr. John Gottman’s tips for goal-setting and stress management. The following will help you as you work to find balance and create a healthier lifestyle, both for yourself and for your relationship.

Tips for goal setting

  • Make your goals specific and measurable. Rather than telling your partner that you would like to talk more, suggest a concrete activity that you can do together whether it’s going for a walk after dinner every time or playing board games every Sunday afternoon.
  • Think about the pros and cons of making healthy changes. If we stick with the examples above, you could imagine that a pro would be the ability to feel closer to each other and relax,  and a con could be the planning around any care-taking responsibilities.
  • Break big goals into little ones. If you want to get in shape, don’t overdo it. This will only add to your stress.  You don’t want to strain yourself or cause an injury. Go slow. Start with smaller increments. 
  • Ask for support. If you want to take care of yourself, remember the people closest to you—the ones you can count on. Call them or set up a video chat if you want a boost of encouragement.
  • Anticipate obstacles and have a backup plan. If you realize that your new self-care plan might be as fleeting as a New Year’s Resolution, don’t feel defeated. You are in control. Imagine the difficulties you may face in accomplishing your goal. For example, if going on a run every morning is going to be unrealistic, try to come up with a solution that you feel confident will work. Perhaps start every Saturday morning and work your way up.
  • Make a daily plan and track your progress. Ask yourself the following questions frequently: What are my intentions today? (“I’ll go on a run tonight” or “No more TV for a little while”)
  • Reward yourself for short-term and long-term successes. Set up a way to congratulate yourself when you achieve your big and small goals. 

Goal setting as a couple

You can set those goals together and enjoy stress-free activities as a couple. Here are a few more ideas for relaxing together. You likely know what you and your partner enjoy most so try some of these or make up your own. You may learn more about each other in the process, strengthening your bond.
  • Watch your favorite show together. 
  • Go on a jaunt through the neighborhood. 
  • Explore a beautiful park and watch a sunset. 
  • Find a take-out ice-cream stand or food truck where you can enjoy something delicious out in the open air.
These are ideas that can keep you and your relationship from being overwhelmed in daily life. 
How well do you know your partner?

Share this post:

Ellie Lisitsa is a former staff writer at The Gottman Institute. She holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology.

Recommended products

Original price was: $250.00.Current price is: $199.00.

Transform Your Relationship

The Gottman Relationship Adviser is a complete approach to relationship wellness. Measure your relationship health with the research-based Gottman Assessment, analyze five key areas of your partnership to identify your strengths and weaknesses, then start a tailored, step-by-step digital program proven to heal and strengthen your connection—all on your schedule and from anywhere.

The Adviser uses the legendary scientific Gottman Method to help you understand what’s really going on in your relationship—and gives you exactly what you need to improve it.

Original price was: $119.00.Current price is: $79.00.

Research-based Foundations for a Lifetime of Love.  The Gottman Relationship Coach is an inspiring and educational multimedia experience designed to enhance the well-being of relationships. Participants will be guided through research-based tools and communication skills that can transform relationships—all based on the popular Gottman Method. The first program, “How to Make Your Relationship Work”, is now available and includes:

  • The Gottman Method and How to Make Your Relationship Work
  • How do we predict the future of a relationship?
  • How to build a Sound Relationship House
  • What to do when the destructive Four Horsemen enter your relationship

“Buy Now” will take you to GOTTMAN CONNECT to purchase and view this product.


Created by “the Einstein of Love” (Psychology Today), this two-day workshop is grounded on what actually works in relationships that are happy and stable. See for yourself why millions of couples worldwide have benefited from the Gottman Method.

Quote from participant in most recent Live Virtual Workshop:

The Art and Science of Love workshop- where do I begin? It was an absolute stellar workshop. We were looking forward to this for weeks, and it exceeded our expectations! It was well-structured, and well-organized, and provided a wealth of information with real-time demonstrations of how to work through specific scenarios. The outstanding support that was provided throughout the exercises with therapists on standby- WOW! Priceless!

Includes the Art & Science of Love box set.  Please allow time for shipping.  Please Note: This is a live online event. To attend, you will need a reliable internet connection. Our staff will reach out to you with your personal registration and access information.

Related posts

Do I Need to Heal Before I Date Again

The Truth about Boundaries

Nicole Schiener

Setting and maintaining boundaries protects your peace and so much more. ...

Read More

Permission to Come Home: Play as Medicine

Permission to Come Home: Play as Medicine

Jenny Wang

Can you allow yourself to introduce play as a healing practice? ...

Read More

Invest in Yourself for Relationship Growth

The Gottman Institute

If you can’t keep it together, your relationship can’t either. ...

Read More

alignment resolutions

Alignment vs. Resolutions

Brittini Carter

Instead of goals and resolutions, align with each other and your joint vision. ...

Read More

Healthy happy Partnered Life

Three Steps to a Healthy, Happy, Partnered Life

Jennifer Pesetsky

Live a long love life with these simple steps. ...

Read More

love maps

Turn Your Relationship Goals Into Habits

Jennifer Scott

Leave "relationship goals" behind and form healthy habits that you and your partner can practice every day.⁠ ...

Read More

Subscribe to Gottman Love Notes

Sign up and start your relationship transformation. Subscribe and get the latest on relationships, therapy, and much more from the experts. Includes a free download and access to special pricing on Gottman products every month