Friday, 14 February 2014

How to rescue your relationship - relationships part 2

Today is Valentine's Day, a day when we traditionally celebrate the love we share with our partner by giving them tokens of our love - often in the shape of heart-shaped chocolates or red roses. But what if things aren't as rosy as you'd like?

Keep talking
Keep communicating with your partner and tell them how you feel. When you've been together for years it can be easy to assume that your partner can read your mind. Talk to them about your day, about things that are on your mind, and about your relationship - communication is the key to any successful relationship.

Listen to your partner
Make sure your partner gets a chance to speak about their experiences too. Listen carefully to what they have to say and take their concerns seriously. It may sound simple, but a common reason for conflict in a relationship is poor communication.

Minimise arguments
Try to avoid arguing at times when you may feel tired or stressed as things can escalate very quickly. Give each other time to mull over the issues that have been raised. It is healthy to have disagreements but if the situation is becoming destructive or you are both becoming overly distressed, try to take some time out.

Make time for you as a couple
Work and children can lead to very full lives and 'couple time' can seem like a distant memory. Take time out as a couple. Consider reserving a regular 'date night' for you and your partner. Spending couple time with your partner on a regular basis will help you stay close to them.

Make your partner feel special
Little things can really go a long way to showing your partner how much you appreciate them and how special they are to you. We're not talking grand gestures here, but the little things like offering to do the school run for a day or allowing your partner to enjoy a spa treatment or a hobby. 

When the problems are growing
If things just aren't getting any better, don't be afraid to look for professional help. Sometimes it can be easier to address problems with the help of a neutral professional who is experienced in helping couples work through their difficulties. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

How to find your ideal partner - relationships part 1

With valentine's day fast approaching our attentions often turn to matters of the heart, but what if you haven't met that special someone yet? Here are some top tips on finding your ideal partner.

Spotting that special someone
No matter where you are - looking online, at your local pub, or even just walking down the street - you need to know who you're looking for. Think about the qualities that matter to you and be really honest with yourself. Try and sort in your mind the qualities that are  'must-haves' and those that are desirable but not necessarily deal breakers.

Shared values
When you meet someone for the first time, there's no denying that first impressions count. We take just a few seconds to decide whether we're interested in someone or not. However, once things move on and become more serious, ask yourself if you and your partner have shared goals and values. Do you respect them? Partners who share similar values and have a mutual respect for each other are more likely to have a long, happy relationshi together.

Come back tomorrow for 'relationships part 2' -how to rescue your relationship.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Top tips to help you spring into spring

The winter weather coupled with a lack of daylight - not to mention sunshine - can leave us feeling as dark as the sky. We've put together some tips to help brighten your mood and put a spring in your step.

1. Change your routine - We're not talking about big changes, but the little things, such as going for a walk at lunchtime rather than sitting at your desk with a sandwich. When you feel that you're stuck in a rut and unable to change, the little things can help you regain control of the situation and lead to much bigger things in the longer term.
2. Take some exercise - The links between regular exercise and greater wellbeing are well documented. The important thing is to find something you like doing so you will continue to do it.
3. Phone a friend - If you're feeling low it is easy to shy away from social contact. However keeping in regular contact with people who care about you can be a great mood booster.
4. Watch what you eat - The mind and body work together, so to help your mind you need to also look after your body. Eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and keep off the sugar if you want to maintain a stable mood and keep your stress levels on an even keel. 
5. Get enough sleep - It can be hard to sleep, particularly if you are anxious about something, but ensuring you get eight hours of sleep a night will help you deal with the day ahead.