How to Have the Best Relationship with Yourself

It’s never too late to build a solid relationship with the most important person in your life – YOU. Whether you’re a content creator or just someone seeking self-discovery, understanding and nurturing your connection with yourself is the ultimate game-changer.


Unlocking the Power of Self-Connection:

Amongst all the competing demands of life, our relationship with ourselves sets the stage for everything else. It’s not about being the “best friend” to yourself, but rather becoming a reliable companion and ally. Think of it as building the foundations of a strong, supportive friendship within.

Practical Steps to Strengthen Your Self-Relationship:

Crafting the best relationship with yourself is a journey filled with self-discovery, kindness, and growth. Here are some practical steps you can take to a fulfilling connection with yourself.

Set Intentions and Stay Aware:
Begin by setting a thoughtful intention to cultivate a positive relationship with yourself. Recognize that this is an ongoing journey, and your goals will evolve over time. Keep your eyes on the long-term, knowing that the path may meander but always leads to growth. Stay aware of your thoughts, feelings, and needs, adapting your approach as you grow.

Plan for Now, Soon, and Later:
Break down your self-relationship goals into manageable steps. Establish short-term habits that bring immediate joy, plan for middle-term milestones, and envision the person you want to become in the long term.  Balancing immediate gratification with long-term satisfaction is key. It’s not about perfection; it’s about progress. A well-thought-out plan is your roadmap to success.

Embrace Change with Curiosity and Acceptance:
Change is inevitable, and that’s a good thing. Approach your self-relationship with curiosity. Embrace changes with open arms, understanding that growth is a beautiful, ever-evolving process. Accept yourself in each phase of this journey, appreciating the uniqueness that defines you.

Prioritize Basic Self-Care:
Your body and mind are the canvas of your self-relationship. Start with the basics – quality sleep, nutritious food, regular activity, and mental well-being. Nurturing your body and mind will lay the foundation for a resilient and sustainable self-relationship. Caring for your physical needs builds trust and affection toward yourself and your ability to prioritize your well-being.

Be Kind to You:
Work toward appraising yourself with kindness, avoiding destructive criticism. Act as your own cheerleader and appreciate your efforts and progress. Self-reflection doesn’t mean self-blame. Be honest and take responsibility, but do it with a gentle touch. You’re a work in progress, not a finished masterpiece. Self-kindness is the fuel that propels you forward, fostering a sense of pride and self-worth.

Surround Yourself with Supportive Souls:
Connect with people who align with your self-relationship goals. Positive relationships serve as models and support systems. Cultivate connections that uplift and inspire, forging connections with those who share similar self-growth goals. A supportive community provides understanding, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.

Blend Realistic Optimism with Action:
Perfectionism is the nemesis of sustainable change. Embrace a mindset of realistic optimism by setting achievable goals and building on them. Be patient and celebrate small victories – they pave the way for lasting transformation. Optimism becomes a powerful ally in sustaining positive change.

Create a Personal Crisis Plan:
Life brings challenges, of that we can be certain. Having a crisis plan is your anchor during stormy times. Anticipate challenges by having trusted individuals ready to provide perspective. Write down your thoughts, and remind yourself of your long-term goals during difficult moments.

Infuse Meaning into Activities:
Seek meaning in work, hobbies, relationships, and personal connections. Meaningful activities provide satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Your passions contribute to a fulfilling existence – explore them with genuine curiosity and entertainment, enhancing the quality of your relationship with yourself.

Establish Positive Daily Habits:
Start each day with positive intentions. Remind yourself of your long-term goals, review key practices, and navigate your day with purpose. Although spontaneity is crucial, keeping your goals in mind ensures actions that support your self-relationship journey.

Speak Love to Yourself:
Be mindful of your inner dialogue. Notice when you’re being overly critical, slow down, and replace it with gentle, kind and supportive words. Conversations with yourself can be empowering – choose words that uplift and nurture. Transformative self-talk is a powerful tool for cultivating self-compassion.

Escape the “Selfish Trap”:
Challenge the notion that self-care is selfish. There is a difference between healthy self-focus and self-centeredness. Reject the idea that taking care of your needs is indulgent, and recognize that prioritizing your needs is a necessity for a thriving self-relationship. Overcome guilt associated with self-care. It’s not selfish – it’s necessary!


A Transformative Journey

Cultivating the best relationship with yourself is a transformative journey. Be patient, stay kind, and revel in the joy of self-discovery. As you nurture this connection, may you find profound happiness, resilience, and an unwavering love for the incredible person you are becoming. Embrace the adventure, celebrate progress, and enjoy the evolving connection with the extraordinary person you are!

If you need support, you can apply for subsidized therapy with Pineapple Support here.


Photo by De’Andre Bush on Unsplash

Love and Mental Well-Being: Tips for Improving Your Relationships

In life, relationships and feeling good go hand in hand, influencing each other in meaningful ways. As social beings, we naturally crave connection, sparking the question: do good feelings cultivate strong relationships, or do healthy relationships ensure well-being? The answer is a little bit of both.


Relationships and Mental Health

A study from Harvard University found that having people who care about us can make our physical, emotional, and mental health more stable. So, being happy and healthy is linked to the relationships we have. Taking care of these connections is as crucial as looking after our physical health.

In a supportive environment, we feel less alone, less anxious, and less scared. Having friends and family we can count on helps us ask for help before things get too hard, making us stronger when facing challenges.

But having lots of relationships isn’t the key – it’s about having good ones. It’s normal to have some problems with friends, family, or partners now and then, but they don’t have to be perfect. What matters most is knowing we can rely on our loved ones when times get tough.

Relationship Changes

In romantic relationships, a rough patch is common, but it’s the assurance that your partner will stand by you that matters most. If things turn bad or stay difficult for a long time, even being around people might not stop feelings of loneliness and sadness.

Breakups and relationship changes can be tough on our mental health. Feeling lonely and isolated can be significant problems. This also happens when we lose a job, retire, experience grief or go through periods without daily positive connections.

Experiencing conflict in the household doesn’t only stress the grown-ups; it can also detrimentally impact the well-being and development of children. In situations where one person uses fear to control another, it can make it hard for the adults and children involved to make and keep good relationships in the future.

Equally, when we’re not feeling good mentally, it can also affect our relationships. When dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, it can be hard to be interested in our loved ones and invest time or energy into creating  connection. People experiencing poor mental health might feel embarrassed and blame themselves, making it tough to feel close to others and disrupting the balance of mutual support.


Ways that you can improve your relationships:

  • To start, think about the relationships you currently have, and the sorts of relationships you would like to have. For example, you might want to make new friends, or strengthen your existing relationships.
  • If you want to strengthen existing relationships, reach out to people you already know, such as co-workers, family, friends-of-friends or neighbours. Suggest that you would like to be in touch more often, and organise to have a coffee, go for a walk, or do another activity you both enjoy.
  • If you are experiencing a period where you are not having daily interactions with other people, and are feeling lonely as a result, you may need to be more intentional in fostering existing relationships or making new connections.
  • If you want to make new friends or social connections, joining a club or group is a great idea. Check out your local community centre to see if there are any groups you might be interested in. Another option is using an app or a forum that brings together people based on common interests.

Good relationships take time and energy. Ultimately, every one of us needs good, supportive relationships to maintain our mental health, and good mental health to sustain our relationships. Remember that building new connections and working on existing relationships often takes time, but it’s always worth it. Be patient and congratulate yourself for doing something that’s been proven to have a positive impact on your emotional and physical wellbeing.

Get support when you need it

If you are experiencing mental health issues, it might feel impossible to put time and energy into our relationships, even if it’s with a close friend or family member, and even when we know it’ll help us in the long run.
It’s okay to ask for help and it’s also okay to take a break from relationships to focus on feeling better mentally when needed. Balancing both is tricky, and getting help ensures you take care of everything.

If you need support, you can apply for subsidized therapy with Pineapple Support here.

5 Ways to Support a Friend Going through Divorce

Zelena van der Leeden, MC, CDC® and Jake W. Purdy, PMP, CDC® are the Co-founders of Divorce Management, the first multi-lingual divorce coaching firm in North America. Divorce Management operates on a “pay what you can” model offering certified Divorce Coaching and Divorce Transition and Recovery Coaching. Further details can be found on their website.


Where I come from, they say that you can count your true friends with your fingers. People have different concepts of the word friendship, but one thing we can all agree on is that a real friend has earned your trust and that you have earned theirs.

Having someone’s support when we are going through difficult times can make the journey less painful and less lonely. Friends usually have the power to make us feel better, but sometimes they feel lost and unable to help.

When someone is going through a divorce, people start sharing their Kramer Vs Kramer stories. They tell you what they or others did to keep the house, or the kids and they try to connect you with the best shark in town! Divorce can be a traumatic experience, so when you meet someone who has gone through a difficult separation, you tend to bond and want to help.

If marital breakdown is affecting someone you love, here are some ways in which you can support them:

  1. Ask how you can help

    This might seem obvious, but if you have a friend who is clearly struggling, you might offer opti/ons and solutions that are unwanted. Some people like company and distraction: they want to relax and think about something other than divorce. Others need space: alone time, or less crowded events. They might want to vent and just have you sit there and nod and say: your ex is evil! Or, they might want to avoid the topic all together. They might need money, food or just someone to help with the kids and chores while they deal with the legal mess while trying to keep some sanity. Before you offer help, ask them what they need and then see what you can do to support them.

  2. Respect boundaries

    Even if you mean well, breaking boundaries can slow down your friend’s healing process. Unless you are worried about their wellbeing, if someone wants to be alone you must respect that. If someone says that they don’t want to talk about the divorce, then you shouldn’t ask about it. Let the person lead, but be inquisitive and attentive. Let them know you are around without being too intrusive. Let them share what they feel comfortable with and show interest without falling under the gossip trap. If there are children involved, remember that the high-conflict separations can end up in custody battles, so make sure not share any details about their case with anyone.
    Sometimes a hug can go a long way.

  3. Expect bad days

    We’ve all experienced the blues. Being sad is not a bad thing, but being sad all the time is a sign of depression. If your friend is having ups and downs, that is completely understandable. You’ll know how to help because you have asked and you’ll make sure to respect their boundaries. If you are worried that they might be struggling with mental health issues, you might want to suggest that they talk to their doctor or to a therapist. Some cope with drugs and alcohol and if you think it is getting out of hand, consider saying something. Know that you are not a psychologist and that it is not your job to fix your friend; but a good friend will try to help by offering resources and connecting them with experts.

  1. Offer a different perspective

    Sometimes we try to be supportive by agreeing with our friends. While every single emotion is valid, sometimes people get stuck on an issue that prevents them from moving forward. This is normal because divorce can be stressful and scary and when people are scared they go into fight or flight mode. You can validate every single feeling they have while offering a different point of view. You might help them see alternatives or at least to consider options. Asking questions usually works: What scares you about that idea? Why do you think that? What would happen if…? If you have been through a divorce or know people who have, it’s easy to generalize and compare cases. Understand that every family dynamic is different and that everyone needs to find their own way. If you are encouraging behaviors that will worsen the situation, you are not helping your friend. Try to stay objective.

  2. Cheer for them

    Adapting to life after divorce is a process that takes approximately 3 years for most families with children. Your friend will go through a lot of battles: emotional, legal, social, financial… they will win some and lose some. They will have to negotiate and figure out their priorities and start a new chapter of their lives. They will feel lost and hopeless at times, so it is important that you help them celebrate the small victories: reaching an agreement, moving into a new home, getting a new job, putting themselves out there. If you notice a positive change in your friend’s attitude, make sure you point it out!


If you are worried about a friend and don’t feel comfortable having these types of conversations, you can refer them to a divorce coach. Shame and guilt stops people from opening up to friends. Don’t take it personally, just remind them that you are on their side and that you will be supportive while staying true to yourself.



Written by: Zelena van der Leeden, co-founder of Divorce Management

© Divorce Management 2024


You can apply for subsidized therapy with Pineapple Support here.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Virtual Friends – The Benefits of Keeping in Touch

It’s true that social media has plugged a big hole in our friendship circles and for some it’s been a real lifeline. The ability to reach out to all those people we know, whether casual acquaintances, or lifelong friends has created a whole new meaning to interaction. 

However, the majority of this contact is virtual, without any form of actual conversation taking place. For some, it can leave the feeling that none of these virtual friendships are real. The physical interactions such as talking and touching are key to maintaining a presence in the real world.

Using apps which offer video call options are great but can bring about unnecessary angst as we struggle to deal with the lack of touch and proper eye contact. Sometimes a simple phone call is easier as it allows us to concentrate on just listening and speaking. 

Showing interest in others is key to maintaining a great friendship. It demonstrates that you really do care about them. Being able to rely upon another person at any time is the absolute symbol of a long and lasting relationship. 

You may go for weeks, often months (and sometimes years) without any form of physical contact but you know when you meet back up in person, it’ll be like no time has passed at all.

Spending a little of your time every single day acknowledging events in your friend’s life and showing them a piece of yours, means a lot. It gives comfort and a little piece of security to those who may feel alone and perhaps lost in this world of ever-increasing Social Media activity. It provides some positive well-being and some reassurance that we are not alone.

Remember …..

‘Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them, but you know they are there’. Confucius

‘Friendship is the comfort of knowing that even when you feel alone, you aren’t’.

International Friendship Day

Ever since this day was first celebrated in 1958, it has allowed countless people to come together and be as one. The very first ‘World Friendship Day’ on the 30th July was set up by an international organisation called the ‘World Friendship Crusade’. Some countries, such as Brazil and Argentina celebrate on the 20th, whilst India, the UAE and Bangladesh celebrate on the first Sunday in August and the USA on February 15th.

Their theme – “Sharing the human spirit through friendship”. The aim is to share emotions and spread happiness and serenity, which in turn will allow you to conquer the hearts of others. Ultimately bringing the whole world together under one big, happy roof.

Although it started in 1958 in the North American state of ‘Paraguay’, it was only in 2011 that the UN General Assembly declared 30th July as an official ‘International Friendship Day’. They proposed that friendship can inspire peace efforts between peoples, countries, culture and individuals. It emphasises the fact that friendship, especially amongst the younger generation, promotes and understanding and respect for diversity.

How Can You Join In?

One of the best ways to celebrate is by spending time with friends. Make a point of scheduling a fun activity or go for something simpler. You can,

  • Organise a get together with those you haven’t seen for a while
  • Go to lunch or dinner
  • Invite them to yours for a buffet (get each person to bring some food and drink)
  • Visit your local park
  • Go for a countryside walk
  • Cycling
  • Volunteer at a local charity
  • Join a local activity club to learn a new skill or hobby

Sometimes, we need to take ourselves out of our comfort zone to enable the mind and soul to become refreshed. When we take on a new task, or accomplish something we’ve never done before, it gives us a reason to live and love. Doing it with friends gives us an even greater boost.

Friends Come with Benefits

As much as sharing a problem with a friend helps, sharing positive actions and experiences has amazing benefits. It provides memories which you can return to whenever you are feeling a little bit down. It gives a piece of common ground between those you shared the experience with.

Even the organising of a shared event can give much positivity to both the planner and the group as a whole. Friends can give you a boost when you need it, and close friends may even do it when you don’t realise yourself that you are in need!

Sharing is Caring

Confidence and affirmations go a long way to providing an upbeat situation. They also produce a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) amongst those present.

Even something a small as saying “Hi, how are you?” to a few of your friends each day will mean a huge amount to many. Knowing that someone is thinking about you is a huge boost. It gives them an instant warm fuzzy feeling and brightens their day. The best bit is, for every friend you motivate with a caring thought, they in turn can pass on to their friends. It’s a win – win situation and spreads the love even further.

Friendship Day Hashtags









Some Quotes for Friendship Day

Last but by no means least, here are some inspiring friendship quotes for sharing.

William Shakespeare “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.”

Alfred Tennyson “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you … I could walk through my garden forever.”

Jim Morrison “True friendship is like health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.”

Helen Keller “I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light’”

Socrates “In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends.”

Aristotle “Friends are the family you choose.”

John Churton Collins “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”

Unknown “Finding friends with the same mental disorder is priceless.”

Albert Einstein “Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.”


And here is mine “Sow the seeds of friendship every day so that your harvest is plenty.”

Love Carla x