Looking after yourself and your relationships over the holiday season

It's a challenge at the best of times to achieve an optimal state of balance - time for yourself, time as a couple, time to complete paid and unpaid work - and if you have kids, time as a family and ideally some 1:1 time between each child and parent. The festive season adds a few more challenges to maintaining a relational balance, the lead-up to Xmas particularly often feeling like a mad scramble to get everything done and honour commitments to catching up socially with friends, colleagues and extended family.

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What do I do when nothing seems to help my loved ones?

Many of us have the idea that to be the best partner or family member we can be, we should be doing all we can. We share our loved ones' struggles and anxieties, and at times it's hard to stay strong and provide all the help that we would like to. In many situations, though, the truth is there may not be much we can do. In so many situations people's struggles are often their own - coming to terms with being diagnosed with a serious illness, losing a job etc.

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Running on empty: why self-care is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship

Before every airplane flight , safety instructions tell us that in case of emergency, when the oxygen mask comes down it's vital to apply your own before attempting to assist your children or other loved ones. Why? Because you can't help anyone else if you're unable to breathe! Once you're OK, you can swiftly and effectively help others.

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