How to Live in Harmony...
Many relationships have been put under a huge amount of pressure at the moment due to the increased amount of time that people are spending with one another, combined with the massive anxieties that exist around health, money and careers. But it is so important that we protect these relationships as best we can and look to dispel any tensions that might arise as quickly as we can.
Sometimes easier said than done...
Tips for Managing Your Relationship with Your Partner:
- Don't assume you know how the other person feels. You can't know unless you ask them
- However tested your relationship may have been in the past this is like nothing experienced before
- Your partner may feel differently to you and have different ways of dealing with things. You may want to know as much as possible about the situation whereas your partner may prefer to take each day as it comes. Nobody's way is the 'right' way to do it
- Avoid making assumptions by encouraging open and clear conversations with one another . This can be hard to do especially of you're feeling scared or upset but it is key you speak to how you are feeling , even when you are feeling 'negative 'emotions like anger or frustration
- Explain that you may not be yourself at all times and you may need a bit of time in order to properly work through what you are feeling
- Be conscious of how you respond to your partners communications to you - be open, attentive and understanding - recognise that your partner may be shouldering their own worries about elderly parents falling ill, possible redundancy
- Try and be as clear as possible with each other. If frustrated or stressed, try to use ‘I’ statements to communicate how you are feeling. ‘I feel’ is very different to ‘You make me feel’
- Give yourself and your partner the gift of time. These are testing circumstances. You may argue or bicker more than normal but it's how you deal with the arguments and come through to the other side that matters. This may take time but that's OK.
- Don't use this as an opportunity to vent all of your relationship issues - the timing may not be right and you may cause more harm than good in doing so
- Try to establish clear work and home boundaries, particularly if you are both working from home. Include regular breaks within your day and try to stick to a routine of sorts
- Find something fun you can do together, even watching a new show on Netflix
Tips for Managing Your Relationship with Your Family:
- Establish a routine. Children do well with routine and a sense of boundaries and so too so adults. Try to carve out time spent together and time spent apart e.g. take a break mid morning for a drink and snacks
- Set family goals and expectations. Sit down as a family and decide how you're all going to make this work and what your expectations of each other are e.g. on a daily basis that the children complete the school work they have been set and they help unload the dishwasher/keep their bedrooms tidy/help make lunch once a week. Make a commitment as a family unit to stick to this as best you can.
- Set about doing a family project - perhaps organise old family photographs into a collage or tidy away into albums. This could be a lovely way to spend quality time together
- Try to designate different areas of the house for different activities e.g. the study for work, the living room for chilling out, the bedroom for privacy. Even think about making activity corners in some of these rooms such as a book reading corner or an art corner. Agree these areas with those you live with (whether a partner, children or housemates). If possible, nominate an area as a 'timeout done where anyone, child or adult, can take a short break to do something for themselves such as reading a book or watching a bit of TV. Time to yourself is equally important
- Be open to answering children's questions about coronavirus in a factual way. They may feel like they have been kept in the dark and shut out, they may feel worried or upset, they may just be generally curious. By not answering their questions you may be adding to their anxieties or perpetuating myths that simply aren't true
So finally, be kind and patient with one another. Everyone, child or adult, is under some kind of pressure. Don't add to it. Be thankful to those around you and congratulate them on how well they're doing and how proud you are of them.