Managing and maintaining personal relationships – Insights from Aoife Sheils, Corporate Psychologist

Last week at the employee wellbeing forum we heard from Aoife Sheils, Principal Consultant and Corporate Psychologist at Converge International, Monash Health’s EAP provider.  

In her presentation, Aoife shared some valuable insights and strategies for managing and maintaining relationships, particularly as we face the increased fatigue, burnout and heightened emotions present as a result of the pandemic. 

“Ongoing change and uncertainty can take a toll on our physical and psychological health. Knowing when to check in with ourselves and maintain self-awareness regarding our stress levels is important.” 

“Our ability to manage and maintain relationships is contingent on how we manage our own state of mind and our own emotions.” 

Aoife addressed how changes to the way we work, how we’ve socialised with one another and how much time we’ve spent at home, has increased the importance of self-care and adequate recovery from ongoing stressors.  

“Imagine yourself as an empty cup. As you experience more stressors in life, your cup will continue to fill and your ability to deal with a difficult conversation, receive feedback or manage conflict in the workplace or at home becomes significantly impaired because your cup is full and overflowing.  

“This is when the smallest thing can tip you over the edge and you need to be thinking about emptying your cup and making sure it doesn’t reach the tipping point.” 

To help employees maintain healthy relationships and improve their physical and mental health, Aoife provided a range of strategies and tools including: 

  • Practising emotional intelligence when listening and providing advice to others 
  • Knowing when to engage in conflict and when it is in your best interest to avoid it 
  • Deliberately scheduling in time to connect and check-in with your loved ones
  • Making time, even if just 10 minutes a day, to practice self-care and relaxation
  • Creating a barrier or transition between your workday and arriving home  

Aoife also noted that it is important for employees to remember that the Employee Assistance Program, provided by Converge International, is available for a range of services, not just when we are concerned about our mental health. In fact, the program offers everything from advice on career development, nutrition, financial wellbeing and legal assistance.  

Watch Aoife’s presentation at the employee forum here.  

For information on available onsite and offsite EAP counselling sessions, visit the individual and team support webpage. For additional resources on health and wellbeing, visit the Monash Health COVID-19 employee website. 


Approved by Karen Lowe. 

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