Health for me plays a big role in my life, I eat, breath and live it. I try to find a healthy balance with high quality nutrition, a positive attitude, and daily movement. This also includes, having and maintaining a healthy relationship with my husband. I have had my fair share of breakups and and being single in the past ( which I fully embraced when I was single, I danced on tables, dated, and just simply had a blast, so I definitely have no F.O.M.O for single days, its more like J.O.M.O ( joy of missing out) as I fully made the most of those days being “Single” , however if you are single and reading this, ENJOY!  Be selfish, say yes to different types, experience, have fun, enjoy every moment and eventually it will bring you to your soul mate. The more you experience, the more you see what you value and want in a relationship and what you don’t want, not to mention get to know yourself through the process.  Now just having celebrated 6 solid years together, I thought I would share my experience with why this one is by far my favourite, happiest and healthiest relationship..…full of unconditional love, laughter, and never ever a dull moment.

Here are my own tips on maintaining and enjoying a healthy relationship with your significant other based on my background and experience. 

1) Be wholeheartedly you
What I mean by this, is the person you are around with your best friends, should be no different from how you act in front of your other half. I am not saying all the girly stuff they need to hear, but your true personality, how you speak, act and behave behind closed doors lets say or in front of your very close friends! I am sure many of us have been there, that one person who brought out a different side to us, which was not us. Nothing is more soul sucking and energy draining than trying to conform to someone else ways, or the way you think they would like you to behave, look and act like.
Just be yourself, truly, and wholeheartedly, if your a goof, be goofier, if your usually quite opinionated, well than so be it, show even more of your opinions on things/ issues or current affairs that mean a lot to you and so on. All I am saying is that the more you can be your true self from the beginning, the less likely you will feel unhappy, frustrated, and mentally drained down the road. Love is not about finding the perfect person, its really about finding that imperfect person perfect! so forget perfection, and coming across like the perfect girlfriend/ wife, it’s just not realistic. Be you, love you, show off your strengths, and work on your weaknesses, we all have imperfections so its really about embracing our best attributes, and shying away/ working on our not so great ones.

“Pay attention to how you treat yourself and your body the temple. That’s your best indication of how you will show up in relationships. Until you are accepting of yourself, you’ll never be able to fully give (or receive) unconditional amour. “ Astro twins.

 2) Speak the truth always, even if it hurts a little.

 Speaking the truth, and communication are highly important for a “healthy” relationship, in my opinion. If something is a little off in your relationship, effort is slipping, things are not generally great, or perhaps you found something inappropriate, whatever it is that you don’t feel good about, acknowledge and be aware of your thoughts and feelings; if your making the sad face from the inside, that is a sign, that something is off.  It is important we are happy and smiling from the inside out, in the relationship. It is not about being happy all day, but being happy everyday, whether its waking up or going to bed, we should feel good every day with our loved one. If there something that comes up, I will bring it forward right way, and address it. Listen to your intuition, and inner voice, if its telling you something, than talk about it! Fess up, don’t raise your voice, don’t be patronising, and don’t be a nag, this is when they shut off….. be cool, be calm, find a solution, and carry on.

Confiding,  discussing whatever it is that is on your mind and getting it off your chest will make you feel so much better, than letting it eat you up inside. Relationships take a whole lot of T.L.C ( tender, love and care) to keep them going, but for me it  also means ( talking, laughter and communication), talk it out, express your feelings, and don’t hide them. Speak the truth, and be honest with eachother, as this will create trust….and like on of my old time favourite rappers Ja Rule says ” No trust no love”…. honesty, trust and communication all go hand in hand.
3) Don’t forget to laugh 
Laughter is one of the best natural remedies for your health, it relieves stress, boosts your mood, decreases inflammation, enhances creativity, lowers blood pressure, and is best of all is anti-ageing. Laughing, giggles galore, and humour is a big thing in our house hold, and I believe injecting more humour and laughter into your daily lives will make your relationship thrive and survive all the way. Be serious in your work and professionally, but when it comes to you and your other half, let your hair down, make joke, be witty, if an argument as been resolved, make a joke at yourself if you were being a diva? I know from my experience I can surely have my “princess” moments in a facetious way…and we look back and just think “Ash” ME: laying like star fish in our super king size bed, with 6 of our 8 Hungarian goose down pillows to myself, asking him to massage my feet” with him on the edge of the bed or times when we are moving, ill ask “can I check into the Dorchester hotel and come home after the weekend “.. obviously he was not pi$$ed but more like L.O.L/ W.T.F. 

Anyways my point here is, find humour in the good times, but also in tough times. Life is never smooth sailing, and situations will come up when we least expect it, anything from family drama to finance issues ect, simply find laughter to help each other through both good and bad times.
“It seems common sense that people who laugh together are likely happier couples, and that happier couples would have a longer, healthier, more vital relationship—but the role that laughter plays isn’t often centre stage. … There’s also evidence that laughing together is a supportive activity”

4) Express gratitude
I am sure most of you have been hearing a lot of “ Gratitude” lately….gratitude lists, journals, prayers, you name it, and I am all for an attitude of gratitude in all areas of my life, from the fresh morning walk and coffee I get daily with my doggy, to having a great group of friends, to having a warm home, a supportive family, an amazing husband, clean water, and the list goes one. I have always been a pretty “grateful “ being, thanks to my mum for teaching me from an early age to give thanks and to really appreciate the little things in life as well as growing up with an illness and being sick early on makes you damn grateful to be alive.

When I came across “The Magic” in 2011, this is when my gratitude mindset really propelled. Expressing your gratitude to your other half often, or even saying it to yourself, and focusing on their good parts will only grow and shine back to you. The more you give thanks to them, for being them, and for the little things, the more you will get back. If you focus on their bad parts, you will only get more bad energy and negative actions back. What you focus on expands, so by thinking and thanking all the good stuff they do, you will get more of that. It doesn’t mean to say you have to say it daily, but think about it daily, and also express it often. Watch your relationship transform when you only focus their good qualities, actions, and deeds.
5) Be kind to one another
Be you and whole heartedly you, but also remember to always be kind, be sweet, be nice, be sincere, be happy for them when things are going great, and be there for them when things are not so great. Angry, naggy, annoying, selfish, mean, high maintenance, stressy, hardwork, irritable, difficult, moody, and possessive are all traits that are not kind. Compliment them, tell them daily how much you love them, and adore them, and even if there are times if they drive you crazy, or forgot to take out the trash ect…. be kind, and sweet to one another on a daily basis, life is so precious, so make sure to be sweet and always be there for one another.
Having experienced my own breakups, from first love, to just average l.u.v…. my best friend Amanda Bloom once told me, “People come into your life for either a reason, a season or a lifetime”; I definitely had my share of reasons, seasons and wrong guys, (I at least got a few great dinner telling stories along the way)…. but after long terms, and short terms, and dinner dates, it brought me to my life time 🙂
To sum it up, make sure you end up with your best friend who you fancy and are hugely crushing on. That way you can be yourself, have loads of fun, be honest, and get all mushy and gushy at the same time 🙂 Honesty, kindness, being grateful, trustworthy, with loads of love and laughter, is what I believe makes a healthy and happy relationship.

Ashley xoxo

A reading from our wedding

Corinthians 13:4-8

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.