Is Covid-19 putting your relationships under pressure?
Covid-19 is not only putting a strain on our healthcare system; it is also putting pressure on our relationships. The virus has created massive upheaval in our lives, and some people deal better with change than others. Why? Differences in personality type, temperament, and expectations are the main factors, and we have to take those differences in to account, especially in our family relationships.
Just take a look at those you are lockdown with at present and this unprecedented situation we find ourselves. There is no doubt that the pandemic has forced us all to live in a way we find unnatural. Our homes have become defacto offices, school rooms, and sick wards all in one turn. Being in such proximity to our loved ones like this is not normal and puts enormous pressure on us all. Moods fluctuate, tensions can run high, and the need for personal space becomes an irritant that can fuel arguments.
Maybe you’re dealing with a loved one who is ill with the virus or some other issue, fear and anxiety will play their part in that too. Some of us are natural carers, while others have little tolerance for those that are sick. Plenty of us are fearful of getting the virus or worried about a particular family member who may be at risk. These new conditions at home are a breeding ground for frustration. The result is often harsh words and intolerance—the last thing you need when feeling unwell or being forced to spend more time together.
There is no doubt there is plenty of anxiety to go around. So how do we cope with it all?
As a licensed counselor, I know that THE most important thing we can do during this challenging time is to care for our health first - if we become sick, we can not nurture and care for those around us.
Ideally, the first solution is to communicate with one another - talk about the possibilities of your daily routine changing, ask each other how you all can set out what you need, what will help you all see through this tough situation. Listen to each other’s needs. If someone in the family needs more personal space let them have it, and don’t be resentful.
This pandemic calls for a little give and take from us all. Understanding is paramount if our relationships are to survive these extra pressures. Accept that anxiety is making someone display a behavior different from what you would typically expect from them. Mental health can deteriorate through fear, and this, too, needs to be recognized, understood, and acknowledged.
Relationships are about taking responsibility for yourself as well as respecting and caring about those that we love. Let’s make sure that in the stressful times we are living, we all accept we have a duty of care and understanding for each other. This way, we give ourselves the best chance of surviving any relationship difficulty. If we can survive tough times like this together, it is likely we will strengthen those bonds of love, cooperation, and respect. With a little luck, our relationships could come out of this pandemic stronger than ever - all we need is a little love and understanding.