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Bolster Your Personal and Professional Relationships for Mental Health

Bolster Your Personal and Professional Relationships for Mental Health

Interactions with others is often a primary source of stress. Even if they’re not stressful, if they’re important to you, then you want to put your best foot forward in dealing with people.


There are some people who you’ll struggle with on a regular basis. They may just have a different personality, or they may be very toxic to you. Others will be people you periodically interact with, so you need to be prepared and confident in your dealings with them.


Start with Your Significant Other


In the immediate nuclear family, you have your significant other and your children. If you and your spouse are not handling life together very well, then it will seep into other areas of your life.


When you’re taking good care of yourself, it will help others be able to support you and receive support and encouragement from you as well. So take a good, hard look at your relationship with your significant other.


Have you turned into roommates who simply pass each other twice a day on the way out the door or when coming home? Has the spark been all but snuffed out and you’re feeling alone, even when each other’s presence?


Part of your self-care regiment will be to bolster that relationship so that you do feel loved and supported in life. It’s a give and take in these situations, and you have to make sure you understand each other’s love languages.


That means asking for what you want and listening to what the other person wants and needs from you as well. Then actively make an effort to take care of one another, whether it’s spending time or showing care and concern in another way.


Check in with Your Children


Children are often quiet when they see a parent undergoing lots of stress. Once you’re taking care of your needs adequately, make sure you spend time with your child, no matter how young or old they are.


Shore up their feelings of being loved by you. Backburner the nagging 24/7 and make sure you’re oozing plenty of pride and positive affirmation about them and what they’re achieving.


Manage Parents, Siblings and Other Family Members


Even as adults, we sometimes fall prey to the unwanted influence of toxic family members. That might include your mom or dad, in-laws, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins or others.


There are many who believe that blood-relatives are to be tolerated no matter what. But to abide by this rule puts your own well-being at risk. There’s no law that says you must tolerate bad behavior directed toward you.


You might be able to remedy the situation with a frank heart to heart with whoever is causing you stress. But sometimes, it takes more than that. You may need to manage the time spent around these individuals.


That could mean having a plan in place to leave if things get rocky during a meeting with them. Or, banishing them from your life completely, depending on the nature of the situation.


The first thing you want to do is see what you can fix with yourself. If all it takes is a tweak of your mindset to be able to handle someone in your life, then that may be enough.


But if the situation is one where they’re doing damage to you or your family, then you’ll have to take action for your own self care needs. Keep in mind that if you’re allowing a family member to cause you stress, then your reaction is probably bubbling over into the lives of your immediate family – your spouse and children, and maybe even your workplace.


Don’t Let Well-Meaning Friends Dominate You


Sometimes, friend groups will have a certain personality who steamrolls over everyone else in the group. They may pop in unannounced or borrow one too many times from you.


If you have a friend who doesn’t seem to have your best interests at heart, then it may be time to put them at arm’s length – at least whenever you feel overwhelmed by their presence in your life.


You’ll be able to tell who’s a good friend based on how much they support you versus how much they lean on you for support. It should be well balanced. If you’re always there for them, but getting nothing in return, rethink the relationship!


Get to Know Neighbors and Those in Your Community


Sometimes you end up with people who aren’t friends, they’re not family – and yet they seem to play a bigger role in your life than you’d like them to – or maybe they don’t play a big enough role.


They may be neighbors who impact your life, or people in the community who you interact with. There are two sides to this coin. Sometimes, you feel isolated and want to combat loneliness.


Getting out and getting to know others in your community can serve you well. A good way to improve your social circle is to volunteer. You can find plenty of volunteer opportunities that help you engage with other people and feel less alone.


You also might have neighbors who cause you stress. Short of having to move, or call the police on them, what else can you do? It might pay off to get to know them. Neighbors are less likely to cause turmoil to friends.


You might bake something and take it over to them, asking politely if they could turn the music down after hours or whatever issue you have with them that’s bringing stress into your life. The old saying about how you can catch more flies with honey rings true in this circumstance.


Control Your Interaction with Coworkers


Just as you can’t choose your family, the same holds true with coworkers. Unless you’re the boss of a company, you don’t get to pick and choose who works in your office with you, who your clients are or which vendor representatives you have to deal with.


Work stress can be debilitating, depending on how stressful your job is and in what industry it’s in. You do have some things you can implement to help manage the stress of human interaction, though.


The first is to position yourself for productivity. Being unavailable for chit chat that annoys you or unwelcome delegation of tasks by a lazy coworker is easy when you stay busy and can’t hear them. Using headphones and making it known that you’re swamped can ward off these types of people.


You might need to resort to a chat with the boss if someone is impeding on your time. You might be able to move your desk or limit interaction with people who cause you stress.


If you have to handle time spent with certain people who bring you down at work, adopt some stress relieving habits like deep breathing that can calm you down in an instant after any interaction with them that results in anxiety or frustration.

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