The festive season is quickly approaching and with it comes celebrations, spending time with family and friends, and taking part in traditions associated with this time of year.
Christmas and New Year is the time when we focus our attention on those closest to us - those we have close or valued relationships with - the people who matter most to us.
It can also be particularly challenging and stressful, as we become distracted by work, gift buying, preparations and meeting expectations - our own or those of others.
So it's important to take the time to check in with those around us and to remember what is most important to us.
There are some things that can make this time of year more manageable. A good starting point is setting realistic expectations for yourself and others.
The picture-perfect feast on Christmas Day looks great on social media, magazines, television and movies but can be a source of stress for even the most accomplished cooks.
As with other aspects of your life, asking for help is a sign of strength so see if someone is able to give you a hand.
Turning to others in times of stress is a great way to let them know how much you value them and can strengthen relationships.
Many things have been changed by COVID-19 and as we all await the borders reopening and being able to spend time with people we may not have seen for a while, things might still be different to normal.
If you are not able to celebrate in the way you normally would, think about creating some new traditions and get creative about how you connect with others. Perhaps use technology or revive the art of writing and posting Christmas cards.
An effective way to enhance relationships at this time of year is to be kind to others.
Your actions can make a real difference in the lives of the people around you.
There are many people in the community who are socially isolated and lonely; this can be compounded during the festive season.
If you can, reach out to those you know who might not have plans and invite them to take part in what you are doing, drop a card in their letterbox or just stop and have a chat.
Why not take some time to do one kind deed every day between now and the end of the year? It doesn't need to be a grand gesture, even the smallest acts of kindness can brighten someone's day.
The festive season can also be financially challenging and Australian spending is projected to be almost $24 billion.
You can avoid adding to the stress by being realistic about your spending and setting limits so buying gifts is more manageable.
Sometimes kind words, offers of help, or a note about why you value someone can be more powerful and appreciated.
This year, put relationships at the top of your Christmas to-do list. Reach out, be kind, put people first.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.