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While most of us can’t wait for our summer holidays and that longed-for break in the sun, all too often the stark reality of spending 24/7 with partners and/or families soon hits us by day two!

In truth, a family thrown together for two whole weeks actually requires some serious effort – and mutal understanding to get on. Here, The S.U.M.O Guy, Paul McGee, a top relationships guru and author of S.U.M.O. Your Relationships - how to handle not strangle the people you live and work with (Capstone, £12.99) offers his top Summer Holiday Survival tips – S.U.M.O style!

1. Have realistic expectations. Planes will be delayed, trains cancelled and the weather might not always meet your expectations. Take a metaphorical chill pill and stop expecting that everything has to run smoothly in order to have a great holiday.

2. Be pro-active. When you’re travelling, anticipate delays. Take a game, pack of cards and books with you – it will keep you sane and occupy your time.

3. Perspective pays. When things don’t go as planned, ask yourself, “Where is this on a scale of 1 – 10?” (Where 10 equates to death) or “How important will this be in six months time?”

4. Focused Flexibility. It’s good to have plans for what you want to do, but build in some spontaneity – it’s a holiday you’re having, not a military campaign.

5. Communicate Your Needs. Unless you’re on holiday with Derren Brown, most people are not mind readers. So let others know politely, but firmly what your current needs are.

6. Compromise is OK. When you can’t agree on how to spend your time, make a few compromises. Take turns deciding who has the final say on what you’re doing.

7. Banish The Blackberry and Mobiles (and the children's!). You’ll never get the full benefits of a break, if you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to switch off totally. So unless you’re Gordon Brown, tell work you’re not contactable.

8. Treat Yourself. Don’t be frivolous with money, but don’t spend the whole time obsessing about where every penny is going. You’ve worked hard for this holiday – enjoy it. Holidays are a terrific and important time to create great memories.

9. Provide Personal Space. Recognise it’s OK to do separate things from each other sometimes. Conflict can bubble up when you’re constantly in each others pockets. Allow each other space and enjoy the sound of silence.

10. Positivity Pays. Remember, most people on the planet can’t afford a holiday – so whatever ups and downs you experience, develop an attitude of gratitude and look for the positives.

For review copies of S.U.M.O. Your Relationships - how to handle not strangle the people you live and work with, or to request interviews and quotes from Paul McGee, please contact Sue Blake Media.


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