Strong, positive relationships are fundamental to our mental
wellbeing. We've put together these tips to help you make the most
of your relationships.
1 Communicate more.
Get off social media and make regular calls to your friends and
family, send them handwritten letters or postcards, or even an
email or text. Ask how they are, tell them you've been thinking of
them, tell them what you've been up to.
2 Ask questions.
It shows you're interested and actively listening. It makes people
feel good and helps you get to know them better. Ask your partner
or children about their day, and your colleague or neighbour about
3 Give compliments and thanks.
Tell your friends, partners, family and colleagues if their hair
or outfit looks nice, or if they have done something well. Thank
them if they do something nice or pay you a compliment.
4 Do things together.
Turn off your phones and TV. Instead do something - anything -
together, without digital distractions. Play a board game or sport
with your partner or family. Read to one another. Eat and talk
together at the table, go for a walk with friends, cook, bake or
plant a pot of flowers together. Just be present and together.
5 Focus on the good things.
Remind yourself often what you like or love about your friends and
partners and what drew you together in the first place.
6 Treasure your friends and partners.
Don't take the for granted - make sure they know you value them.
Tell them what you like about them and why they are important to
This doesn't mean spending lots of money. Give people who are
important to you small gifts - a book you think they will enjoy, a
magazine that will interest them, a bar of chocolate, a beautiful
shell, a skeleton leaf. Some babysitting time or help with their
decorating, gardening or housework. Cook them a lasagne or a cake.
Just something small, thoughtful and unexpected every now and again
to brighten their day.
8 Be there.
Be a shoulder to cry on, invite friends to eat with you when
they're down, ask what you can do for them. And when you cry on
their shoulder, let them listen and make suggestions, but don't
expect them to solve your problems for you.
9 Be open.
Don't expect people to read your mind - tell them what you want or
that you are upset so they can do something about it. Try not to
place expectations on relationships - they are much more important
than one missed birthday or someone forgetting to say thanks.
Smiling - even if you have to force yourself - can actually make
you feel more positive. And it will make those around you feel more
11 Forget arguments.
Don't bear grudges. The other person cares for you - agree to
disagree, forget the past and focus on making things better, not
scoring points or proving you're right. And while you're at it, do
your best to overlook their annoying habits!
12 Help people achieve their dreams.
Don't feel threatened by their successes or afraid you'll be left
behind - supporting your friends and family will make you feel good
and strengthen the bond between you.
Your friends care about you and have your best interests at heart
- trust them.