&Breathe: R is for RELATE

R is for Relate

We've all had those moments when we just can't understand why the person in front of us is acting the way they are.  It might be your baby (unrelenting screams), your toddler (ditto, from the supermarket floor) or your partner (let's hope it hasn't quite reached tantrum phase).  And you don't know what to do about it or how to stop it.  It can make you feel impotent and frustrated, and worse, it can make you turn on yourself too.

All of this is especially exacerbated in times of little sleep and lots of stress, like the first few months of parenthood.  It can be hard, but taking a step back and pausing, can be key to a happy and healthy relationship, especially one that's going through the changing dynamic of adapting to new parenthood.

Our Resident Happiness Coach, Olivia Horne, talks us through RELATING; and how to take a moment to understand others.

Go on - #BeYourOptiMUM



Because relationships matter. Your relationships with your partner, children, parents, in laws, your mum friends and non-mum friends, your colleagues and community. And most importantly of all, the relationship you have with yourself.

It really is as simple as treating others and treating yourself, as you would wish to be treated. If you can start by loving and respecting yourself, then so much else will follow from there; so offer kindness and support to yourself, as you would to your own child. And when it comes to others, know that we all have different maps of the world, different filters on our experience – and the compassion and acceptance that comes from considering other people’s perspectives, can build bridges over the most turbulent of waters.

A relationship is not a fixed entity – it’s the result of the process of relating to and communicating with another person. A process with the potential for change and progress, with chances every moment to make positive, healthy choices and shift out of old negative patterns. You can choose right now to prioritise love, kindness and compassion over blame, anger and guilt. And you can choose to forgive – forgive yourself to release the guilt, and forgive others to set yourself free from toxic replays of the past.

If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion
— Dalai Lama


Notice how you’re communicating with yourself and with others: are you using any judgements, rules or ‘should’s? And what impact are these judgements having on your mood and your relationships? Chances are they are not serving a very useful purpose – more likely they’re zapping your energy, scrambling your communication and upping your stress. So tell your hard-working inner critic that it’s ok to have a rest. It’s ok to choose softer rules and fewer judgements, to offer second chances, and to believe in the positive intentions that lie behind the mistakes. To choose patience, compassion and forgiveness. We’re human, and as parents we all make mistakes. So if you’re craving some acceptance, appreciation, forgiveness or understanding, try giving some to someone else first, and be sure to give some to yourself too. Level with your kids, or reach out and ask a loved one how they’re doing. Make time for each other, embrace each other’s imperfections and focus on your common higher goals instead of your differences and disagreements.

Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.
— Brene Brown

Try it now

Close your eyes and bring to mind a loved one who you’ve been wanting to reach out to. Imagine them sitting in front of you now and take a moment to notice them as an equal human being. Say to them: “I see you, I hear you, you matter, I’m here.” Let them say to you: “I see you, I hear you, you matter, I’m here.” And then say to yourself: “I see you, I hear you, you matter, I’m here.” Nice deep breath and open your eyes. Stay open and curious to the possibility of healing in all your relationships.

Olivia Horne is &Breathe's Resident Happiness Coach, because finding your best you is about the mind as well as the body.  She also offers one-to-one coaching and small group meditation classes in London, find out more here and here.


At &Breathe we believe in Being Your Best You to be at your best for everyone around you.  Our retreats and events allow you the selfcare time you deserve and through this Spring, we're sharing ways to #BeYourOptiMUM - what's yours?
Tag #BeYourOptiMUM and tell us!
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