Taking care of our relationships and ourselves

Good news! Somehow, we managed to make it through the cold and dark days of January. From now on, the days are only getting longer and the temperature is rising. Let’s take a moment to celebrate this.

I always associate the month of February with the fanfare of Valentine’s Day: advertising campaigns, decorations and incentives to spoil our significant other. Although some would say it’s a commercial holiday, I must confess that I really enjoy Valentine’s Day. It’s a time for me to reflect on the meaningful relationships in my life, romantic and otherwise.

My favourite way to see a relationship is through a famous saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” You see, a relationship is not just made up of the people involved, but also the interactions between them. When you look at it this way, to be able to nurture a relationship, you not only have to take care of the people within it but also pay attention to how they interact. So working on listening skills, adapting non-verbal communication, identifying emotions and voicing concerns are all ways of nurturing a relationship.

Ways to nurture your relationships

Before even starting to nurture our relationships, we have to create opportunities to interact with others. Of course, each kind of relationship will influence the type of interactions we can have. With a live-in partner, that may mean taking time to listen. With friends, that could mean reaching out more often. If you’re a caregiver, you might start by setting your boundaries to ensure more productive interactions. Last but not least, nurturing a relationship with yourself inevitably begins with tuning in to your own emotions more often.

This February, I invite you to take care of the meaningful relationships in your life. Also, I strongly suggest that you look after your own heart, both figuratively and literally. Join us on Valentine’s Day for an information session on cardiovascular health with nurse Louise Fortin. Learn about key conditions, preventive measures and crucial signs to look out for. In-person participants can even get their blood pressure taken.

Anaïs Fortin-Maltais, Well 50+ & Caregivers Program Coordinator

Before signing off, I am happy to report that the Caregivers’ Circle section on our website has had a makeover and is now live. Please feel free to take a look and help spread the good news!

Bye for now,


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