One of the keys to a better version of you, mentally and physically, is sleeping well. We want all of our industry members to sleep as well as they can that’s why EIC have partnered with Sleepstation. Sleepstation is a clinically validated sleep improvement programme that can help you learn how to control and optimise your sleep to get the best sleep possible. Designed by experts and backed by science, the online service is proven to combat even the most severe insomnia. Their team will help you identify the underlying causes of your sleep problem and provide the personal support and guidance needed to improve your sleep. Sleepstation delivers remote care with a personal touch and that's what makes it so effective. Therapeutic support through Sleepstation is available to those in need and meeting our charity eligibility criteria.
Looking after our relationships are vital to maintaining positive overall wellbeing. The electrical and energy sector has a divorce rate of 69.8% and the Electrical Industries Charity want to help us to nurture and repair relationships to help our sector have better relationships.
Everyone's relationships are unique. But sometimes we face similar issues.
Whatever you're going through in your relationship, it can be comforting to know that you're not alone. Here are some practical tips to help you with the most common relationship problems.
My partner and I don't talk any more - it feels as if we've drifted apart. How can I improve communication with my partner?
Set aside time to talk when you will not be interrupted. Take it in turns to have airtime - some people find setting a timer for five minutes, one speaking while the other listens, then reversing the process, can create a space for each to talk without interruption. Tell your partner how you felt, feel or will be feeling about something without blaming them. This can be tricky, but it is a very useful way of owning your feelings. Plan to go together somewhere that provides an environment you both find relaxing e.g. a walk in the park, a drink at a pub or a coffee when you're shopping, etc. Remember that communication isn't all verbal. Consider what your body language communicates to your partner about what you're both saying. Don't be surprised if there isn't an improvement straight away - you wouldn't expect to dance the salsa after only one attempt, would you?
I can't seem to stop arguing with my partner. What can we do?
Arguments are common in relationships. Some degree of conflict can even be healthy, as it means both people are expressing themselves, rather than keeping everything inside and letting emotions fester. But if you’re arguing all the time, or simple disagreements end up in a hostile silence or screaming match, it can really start to take a toll on things – or even leave you wondering whether you’re all that compatible in the first place.
Learning ways to handle disagreements constructively is crucial in any relationship.
We always say: conflict is inevitable. It’s how you deal with it that counts. It can be useful to think of an argument like an onion. The outer layer is what you're speaking about, while the deeper layers beneath represent the issues beneath this. In other words, sometimes what we argue about is only a symptom of what's going wrong, not the cause. For example, Sam gets into an argument with his partner about whether they do their fair share of the household chores. On the surface, the argument may seem to be about something small, but it could also tap into wider feelings about how well supported Sam feels in the relationship generally. It may also remind him of other situations when he has felt let down and unsupported by other people in his life. For Sam’s partner, the argument may tap into deeper worries about how controlling they feel Sam can be.
If you find you and your partner argue frequently, or about the same kinds of things a lot, it can be a good idea to think about what’s really causing the conflict. Are you arguing about what you think you’re arguing about – or are there other things going on the relationship that frustrate or worry you? You may want to consider other influences too: have there been any recent changes in your lives that may have put extra pressure on either of you? This could be something like a bereavement, starting a new family, moving to a new house, financial problems, work pressures or just a reaching a relationship milestone such as reaching a big birthday. Maybe you have been spending less quality time together than before? Has there been an incident that one or both of you is struggling to get over? Did you use to argue less? And if so, why do you think that is? Seeing past your emotions and trying to look at the wider context of the situation can be a great way of getting to the bottom of what’s going on.
If you and your partner are having trouble resolving a difference in opinion, you might like to consider the following:
We have the highest divorce rates of any sector, at 68.8%. The main reason for divorce or separation within our industry is excess travel followed by infidelity, and then caring for a sick parent, child, or partner. Affairs rarely have just one cause, and they don't always happen because of unhappiness or dissatisfaction in a relationship. It's vital that you both understand the real reasons why it happened.
If your partner had an affair, to come to terms with why it happened you will need to talk about their vulnerability to an affair - what was happening in your lives and in your relationship before they first came into contact with the other person, how might your partner's lifestyle have contributed (e.g. working away from home), what beliefs did you both hold about fidelity? Part of the process is being honest with yourself about your own vulnerabilities to an affair and why these might have been different to your partner's. This can be very painful and can take a lot of time, but unless you know what went wrong, you won't be able to change things in the future. Be patient. It takes time to rebuild trust that has been broken.
Make sure that you're open and honest with each other about your wants and needs. A crisis like this can also make you confront complex issues like gender politics and beliefs you might have both absorbed from society about faithful relationships. It is possible to create a new, stronger relationship in the wake of an affair, but the cost can be very high. An affair can also have destructive effects on your family. Children, in-laws, and friends may all find themselves caught up in events, and perhaps having to take sides. Permanent barriers can be created. Even so, an affair does not always mean the end of your relationship. With hard work, commitment, and patience, it may be possible to come through this crisis changed, but also stronger. The key message is to understand why the affair happened, rather than run away from the reasons. Whether you stay together or part, it's crucial to gather some insights into what went wrong. Do this, and if you remain together you will have a deeper understanding of yourselves. If you part, you will know that you had the courage to face the truth and will be better prepared for future relationships.
This video looks at what it's like when couples don't tell each other what they're thinking:
You may find it useful to use the following simple pattern: one person talks, the other listens and then paraphrases back what they said: ‘what it sounds like you’re saying is…’. And then switch. Again, it sounds a little clinical, but repeating back what your partner has said can be a powerful technique. It both shows them you’re trying to understand what’s they’re saying and actually makes it much easier to do this – just as it’s easier to memorize a fact by stating it out loud. This isn’t necessary about agreeing with each other. It’s about understanding one another so you can begin to move towards a solution. If you’re always bearing this in mind as a goal, then you’re much less likely to find yourself arguing.
If you suspect your child is being bullied, watch out for these signs:
How to talk to them about it:
What if things don't get better?
Sometimes, bullying can be persistent, and it may take time for it to stop. Keep a diary of any further incidents, including details on what happened - and the effect on your child. Inform the school every time an incident happens and keep working with them to address the problem. Schools have a variety of options for dealing with bullying, from warnings to full time exclusions. Prolonged bullying can have negative emotional effects on a child. If you think they might need extra help, you may want to consider Children and Young People’s Counselling.
It is important to note that online bullying can also affect adults and is even prevalent within professional organisations. Recent research shows there is a connection between COVID19 and an increase in Cyberbullying - both volume and severity. It was published just last week and conducted worldwide, covering dozens of countries and hundreds of organizations.
• 81% of professional support organizations reported an increase in Cyberbullying.
• 51.4% of organizations had to shut down or decrease activity, and couldn't help victims in the last few months.
• 9.7% had to shut down permanently due to the economic damage of the pandemic.
*statistics gathered externally by Rachel Parker.
As parents we take care of our children to the best of our ability. Because we care, and show it in different ways, children learn to trust their parents. How can you build trust in your relationship with your teen? Children might not learn to trust their parents, especially if a parent makes promises they can’t keep and does not or cannot deliver and so ideally, the message to any parent needs to be “don’t make promises you can’t keep”
Sometimes, when a parent is not available when a child or teenager really needs them, they begin to think that can’t be relied upon or trusted. Mostly, there are enough times when a parent is there for them to balance this and parenting is about managing that balance. When teenagers start to take more responsibility for themselves, it is sometimes difficult to trust them to make decisions and to do the “right” thing. Interestingly, if we don’t let teenagers take responsibility for themselves, they are more likely to rebel. It’s hard to get it right. Trust is different from rules Rules are the boundaries you set within your family and with your teenager for their safety and your family standards. When teenagers try to begin to think like adults, they have to make decisions based on working out whether something is acceptable, safe and ok for them.
But teens don’t think like adults, they are:
So, they will need guidance and to have your say without preaching is important.
What you can do:
Try to encourage and invite discussion, without it sounding as though you are laying down yet more rules.
Try to use sentences that begin with:
Create trust by learning to listen, be ready to discuss without judging and sometimes make allowance for them getting it wrong. This means not saying “I told you so” but listening to what they have learned from their experiences. When trust is broken, or repeatedly broken, then closer monitoring or restriction of freedom is the only way you have as a parent to show that you care enough to hang on in there until some learning has taken place. Try to gradually give your teens opportunities for them to show you that they can be trusted and make encouraging remarks when all goes well. Trust is two way – the more trustworthy you are, the more trustworthy your teenager is likely to be.
Here is a range of activities for you to do on your own, with a partner, or with your teenager. They’re short exercises that won’t take too much time and are a good starting point if you’re finding it hard to understand your son or daughter:
Think: What were you like as a teenager?
Think: Can you see a pattern from your own teenage years in the first exercise?
The first step is to understand what's happening and think about the things we would like to change; but it can be difficult to ask others to change if we can’t see the benefits of changing ourselves. So, talk things through and think about how you can work together to make things better.
Think: What pressures do teenagers have?
See if you can write down all the pressures your teenager may be under. You might include things like school, friendships, exams, family changes and relationships. Share this with your young person and see if they agree. This is a good way of showing them that you are trying to understand what might be going on for them in their life. Ask if they could add anything.
Activity: Family Tree
Young people can be intrigued by how their family has developed over time. This can also be a way of exploring a change in the family or understanding relationships.
Activity: Family Shield
Draw a ‘family shield’ and design your very own Coat of Arms.
Think about the following:
Although there is no “typical divorce” and no “magic formula” for ensuring positive child and family outcomes, and every child and family are unique, there are some general principles for successful co-parenting that apply to most, if not all, divorcing families:
The electrical and energy sector has one of the highest industry divorce rates. 69.8% of marriages within our industry end in divorce with the leading causes being long hours, excessive travel, and infidelity. Relationship breakdown can be a huge source of stress and can understandably cause emotional turmoil for those involved. The Electrical Industries Charity want to do everything they can to support our sector members through life’s rough patches. A joyful but trying time for many couples is the arrival of a new baby. Richard, an electrical distributor employee, has worked within the sector for 12 years and initially approached the charity because his wife, Karen, was struggling after the birth of their son Harry.
Harry had been born 7 months ago and Karen has struggled since his birth with ongoing post-natal depression. Richard spoke to the charity welfare team seeking therapeutic support for Karen but in his discussion with the charity case worker he disclosed the impact Karen’s depression was having on their relationship.
Karen and Richard’s communication was completely absent. Karen was increasingly tearful, lacked in energy and constantly felt low – all symptoms of post-natal depression. Richard tried his best to understand and accommodate Karen but whenever they did try to discuss counselling support Karen would shut down and retreat to their bedroom. Richard felt it impossible to communicate with Karen and was in fear of upsetting her and worsening her depression. Richard felt he was forced to bottle his feelings and their relationship had suffered dramatically. Richard would readily snap at Karen and he was constantly irritated. Richard described their marriage as two people who just exist alongside each other. It was clear to the Electrical Industries Charity Karen and Richard needed marriage counselling to focus on their communication issues. The charity felt it important Karen undertake individual sessions as well as a couple’s session with Richard fortnightly. Karen could then focus on coping with her post-natal depression and her marriage in a judgement free safe space.
Karen undertook six individual sessions of interpersonal therapy and partook in a guided self-help course which the charity found online. The charity also put Karen in touch with the Association for Post Natal Illness so she could find support from other new parents. Richard and Karen also attended six relationship counselling sessions which worked on their communication strategies and armed them with tools to improve and repair their relationship. This included safe time out spaces where they could have time away to decompress.
Karen and Richard’s relationship is not perfect. They continue to work on their marriage and still go for monthly self-funded sessions with a relationship counsellor. Since a combination of self-help, support group and therapy Karen’s post-natal depression is improving. Karen and Harry have built a better bond which is helping her and Richard’s relationship. Although there is still work to be done with their marriage both Karen and Richard understand how to communicate effectively with one and other and are looking forward to a brighter future.
If you need support within your relationship and would like guidance or assistance please contact the Electrical Industries Charity on 0800 652 1618
A massive part of our daily lives is our families. For a lot of us we see and/or speak to at least one member of our family every day and when we have disputes or there is tensions within our family units it can cause untold amounts of stress and upset. Sarah, an electrical wholesale employee of 15 years, contacted the Electrical Industries Charity when she began to suffer with anxiety and stress. Sarah was aware of the Electrical Industries Charity through her company’s Employee Assistance Programme and understood she was eligible for free and confidential assistance using the charity Employee and Family Programme.
Sarah spoke with the Charity welfare team about her 24-year-old estranged son who she had been having difficulties with for almost a decade. Teenage years can be very difficult for parent/child relationships and Sarah and her son’s relationship was very strained. Sarah’s son’s behaviour was extremely erratic, and he was often verbally abusive towards his mother. Sarah’s son developed a marijuana addiction and he spent hours sitting in parks and alley ways smoking before returning home. Sarah tried to improve relations with her son but when he turned 19, she felt she had no choice but to ask him to leave the home.
Sarah felt a huge amount of guilt asking her son to leave and she began to suffer with extreme anxiety attacks. Often Sarah would have panic attacks and during the night she would be unable to sleep for she was crippled with anxiety. Sarah reached out to her son to build bridges between them and for a short while things improved. Sarah remarried and contact with her son, although sporadic, was amicable. Sarah’s son then began to ask Sarah for large sums of money and threatened to cut all contact with her when she refused. Sarah’s anxiety and panic attacks returned, and she was now struggling to sleep, eat and work.
The Electrical Industries Charity discussed with Sarah her feelings of anxiety and it appeared a lot of her stress was linked to her feelings of guilt. Sarah found it difficult to accept her and her son’s relationship may never mend and felt she had failed as mother. The Charity case worker referred Sarah to family and relationship counsellor who helped her to unpack some of the guilt she was feeling and devise helpful coping strategies. Sarah’s counselling sessions also helped her to understand her son more, how to broach contact with him and how to cope if he did not want to be in contact with her. Since their last contact Sarah’s son, although still struggling with a marijuana addiction, was working locally and shared a flat with a long-term partner.
Sarah undertook four sessions of therapy and felt encouraged by her dissipating feelings of anxiety. Sarah reached out to her son and they were able to go on a walk together locally. Sarah and her son agreed to have more open channels of communication and Sarah’s son spoke of his want to cut down on his marijuana intake. Sarah is feeling optimistic about her and son’s relationship and wants to continue to work on their communication.