Psy­chol­o­gist Jennifer Garth an­swers your ques­tions

PSY­CHOL­O­GIST JENNIFER GARTH ON REN­O­VAT­ING AND RE­LA­TION­SHIPS, CHANG­ING YOUR CA­REER AND HOW TO SAVE A FRIEND­SHIP THAT’S COOLED

Good Health (Australia) - - Content -

‘Renovation fa­tigue is real so take time out’

I’m in the mid­dle of a home renovation. My part­ner and I seem to be fight­ing about ev­ery­thing. How do we fin­ish the renovation with our re­la­tion­ship in­tact?

ARen­o­vat­ing a house can be highly stress­ful. Bal­loon­ing bud­gets, things that go crash in the night, trades­men traips­ing through your place and lim­ited ac­cess to those ameni­ties you love, like run­ning wa­ter and work­ing ap­pli­ances – these is­sues can get to any cou­ple. Keep your re­la­tion­ship healthy by mak­ing de­ci­sions to­gether. If you and your part­ner dis­agree, use the renovation as an op­por­tu­nity to learn how to com­pro­mise. Renovation fa­tigue is real so make sure you take time out. Create an es­cape hatch – a cor­ner of your house that’s com­pletely renovation free. No dust, no tools and no mood boards. It’s a place where you and your part­ner can get away from it all, or­der some take­away and re­lax.

I have a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in pub­lic re­la­tions, but I’m un­happy in my job and my life. I want to change ca­reers, but I’m wor­ried what ev­ery­one will think. I don’t want to let any­one down.

A Goals and de­sires evolve, so it’s nor­mal our de­ci­sions will evolve with them. It’s okay to ad­mit ca­reer choices you made in the past are no longer right for you, and you have de­cided you want to move in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion. If you want to make the tran­si­tion you’ll have to over­come your fear of what others might, or might not, think. Change is not a sign of weak­ness and you should never beat your­self up if you decide to change tack. And if your de­ci­sion doesn’t af­fect any­one, there’s no need to feel you owe peo­ple an ex­pla­na­tion. Use your bold­ness in chang­ing di­rec­tion to in­spire others.

I find lots of things ir­ri­tate me now such as bad driv­ers and un­help­ful sales as­sis­tants. I quickly be­come abrupt and ag­gres­sive. How do I deal with my hos­til­ity?

A The key to han­dling ir­ri­tat­ing sit­u­a­tions is to re­duce your over­all stress. Plan your day so you’re not pushed for time. Other strate­gies to re­duce stress are be­ing re­al­is­tic about what you can achieve in the time avail­able, or sched­ul­ing some ‘buf­fer’ time into your day. Med­i­ta­tion or yoga can help too.

My best friend seems to have lost in­ter­est in me. We were so close but it’s as if overnight she de­cided to stop mak­ing an ef­fort with me and I don’t know why. What should I do?

A It could be you’re mis­in­ter­pret­ing what is go­ing on. Maybe she is dis­tracted by some­thing in her life and needs space to process it, rather than talk­ing about it. There could be any num­ber of rea­sons why it feels as if there’s been a change in your re­la­tion­ship and it may not be the worst-case sce­nario you have jumped to. You can only find out what is hap­pen­ing by ask­ing. Why not try some­thing like, ‘The con­nec­tion feels dif­fer­ent to me. What’s go­ing on?’

It’s okay to ad­mit choices are no longer right for you now

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