Relationships • Article

Catch Up on Self-Care (While He Catches the Game)

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Losing your spouse to football season may not be a bad thing.


While he's busy, you can focus on your preferences.


Whether you're into a day off by yourself at the museum, a much-needed yoga session, or simply enjoying an afternoon shopping with an old friend, spending time apart for a little self-care can be a good thing.


We chatted with Nicole McCance, a registered psychologist and relationship expert, as well as spouses who lose their partners to the on-field action each weekend, to hear their insights on how to navigate this terrain smoothly.


A Personal Time-Out

McCance believes it's healthy to take some guilt-free time away from a spouse who is busy enjoying their passion, like watching weekend football. Taking your own break to unwind, she says, is the perfect solution.


"Self-care is important because the better you are at taking care of yourself, the better partner and parent you will be," explains McCance.


When Elizabeth Beckett's husband, Patrick Beckett tunes in to college football — about twice a month on Saturday afternoons — she grabs the opportunity to get out of the house. She calls this taking some "me-time," which means she'll head to the gym to work out, go shopping or run errands. And she leaves their two children, aged 9 months and 3 years, with her husband.


"He is totally OK with me leaving the kids with him and finds ways to keep them entertained," she shares.


McCance says this is a solid plan, adding, "Since he is home, let him watch the kids. It's easy multi-tasking." And when Elizabeth Beckett escapes, McCance says, she knows she'll return refreshed, more able to appreciate her family after a little time for herself.


Instead of feeling left out of Patrick's football frenzy, Elizabeth says the arrangement she and her husband's have established "opens up time for us to do things together when he isn't watching sports."


Focusing on what inspires you is a good thing, says McCance. Missing each other is healthy, and can put your relationship into perspective.


"It's important to have some alone time and space from your partner. When we miss our partner, we tend not to take them for granted," she states.


Dinner for One

Corina Diaz's version of self-care includes trying a new restaurant, somewhere she's wanted to visit but hasn't had the time, and preferably doing so by herself. She values her alone time to regroup, so giving her partner the space to watch his sports makes everyone happier.


According to McCance, this kind of understanding absolves everyone of any pangs of regret. "Your husband is likely going to be happy, and maybe even feel less guilt, for taking time for himself if you do the same," she says.


McCance does advise couples to be aware of one caveat: "Make sure to reconnect with affection, and engage with your partner afterwards with conversation and interest."


Re-engaging in the relationship mindfully after time apart to recharge is, as they say in sports, the winningest idea.


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