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Sometimes, as my husband the basketball coach likes to say, we have to remember to go back to the basics. All the fancy footwork and trick passes will get you nowhere on the court if you don’t have a mastery of the fundamental, basic basketball skills.

The same, I think, can be said of relationships. Case in point: I recently read a very funny — but very truthful — piece of advice that struck me as particularly relevant for couples. Consider this:

“If you feel like everyone hates you, you probably need to sleep. If you feel like you hate everyone, you probably need to eat.”

So let me ask you — are you hungry? How about tired?

When we’re in conflict with our partner, it can feel like the be-all end-all. It can feel immediate, and oh-so-intense. But sometimes — not all times, but sometimes — this advice really applies.

Before you dive into conflict with your partner, make sure you’re rested and well-fed. It might seem simple — basic, even — but in all honesty, it can make a powerful difference in how you experience the discussion! They say to ‘never go to bed angry,’ and for some people, that works. But often, it just means your argument gets longer, more painful, and more confusing. Try pressing pause — with a shared commitment to return to the issue. That’s key: you’re not shoving the problem under the rug. But when you wake up rested and bring it up over breakfast, you might find the issue is resolved much more smoothly.

Eat your food. Get your sleep. Then you can love your partner and yourself holistically.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash