Six Self-Care Tips for Healthy Relationships

Did you know that rates of intimate partner violence are highest among young Canadians? Two-thirds of abuse survivors are victimized by their current boyfriend/girlfriend (Statistics Canada).

February marks Valentine’s Day (celebrated on February 14) and Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. With these two events in mind, we sought self-care guidance and connected with VWTH’s Crisis & Information Line staff and counsellors from our Prevention, Education, Advocacy, Counselling & Empowerment (PEACE)/Children Who Witness Abuse Program. They shared helpful self-care tips for teens and adults to consider when in a relationship or thinking about exploring a relationship.

1. Know Your Worth

We all deserve respect and equality.

2. Listen to Your Gut

We know what is good for us and what is safe for us. Practice connecting with your intuition through calm breathing and staying in the moment. Mindfulness, meditation and yoga can also help us tune into our inner wisdom.

3. Feel your Feelings

You are the expert on yourself and your feelings. When in a relationship, pay attention to how you feel and question why you feel that way. Take some time to consider whether you can comfortably maintain your sense of autonomy and individuality while you are in your relationship. If you need to sacrifice aspects of yourself to be in a relationship, this may not be a healthy relationship.

4. Keep a Support Bubble

Stay in touch with people you trust and can reach out to for help: family, friends, neighbours, Elders, counsellors and community supports.

5. Take Your Time

Especially on romantic holidays such as Valentine’s Day, some of us may find ourselves thinking about past relationships or feel the social pressure to be in a relationship. It is important to take your time to reflect on whether you want a relationship and explore any potential relationships at a pace that feels comfortable to you.

6. Celebrate You

Pay attention to yourself and celebrate your day-to-day activities and achievements. A five-minute stretch or walk, engaging in a hobby, ticking a task off the long to-do list or treating yourself to a pampering can all contribute to our feelings of accomplishment and wellbeing. No matter how small or big, embrace your achievements and remember to celebrate you.

Need help? Support is always available.

Contact the VWTH Crisis & Information Line, 250-385-6611 or the Kids Help Phone, 1-800-668-6868, both are open 24/7. Concerned family and friends, as well as professionals, can also call.

In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

For more information about the VWTH Violence is Preventable Program and other community resources, visit our Children & Youth Programs page or contact us at or 250-592-2927.

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