The coronavirus outbreak has affected the way we interact with other people in a significant way. We have been told to distance ourselves physically from others, to keep everyone safe and healthy. We wear masks to keep from breathing on each other. We have also been advised to stay home as much as possible, even to work from home. Given all these new guidelines, how is it possible to strengthen relationships during COVID-19?
Cabin Fever or Feeling the Distance
Relationships can be challenging in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. People living in the same household have been home together for months. On the other hand, you have friends or family members that you have not been able to see in person for most of the year. Either situation can result in relationship issues, including friction, conflict, and an increased sense of emotional distance.
The Challenge of Time
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have lost all sense of time. Like many people, you find that you are checking the calendar every morning to confirm the day and date. Also like many others, you find that you are spending too much time with the same person or people. Your time could also be consumed with virtual interactions, including Zoom meetings with friends, family, or co-workers.
If you feel like you are going through the same routine every day, learning how to strengthen relationships is a step that will benefit everyone. When you make a focused effort to stay truly connected with those outside your home and stay close to those you live with, it can benefit your relationships as well as your stress levels during the pandemic.
The Importance of Empathy
The entire country is experiencing the struggles involved in the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone experiences this type of stress differently. When you are working on your relationships, with a significant other, with friends, or with family members, show empathy for the other person’s situation. This means simply that you try to understand what they are going through and how they are dealing with the situation.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
There is no more important step in understanding how to strengthen relationships than to openly and honestly communicate. During the pandemic, your communication efforts may look a little different. You may even be tired of Zoom calls. For a little different approach, try a basic phone call to stay in communication with those who mean so much to you.
Communicating openly and frequently with those in your household is critical. Let the other person know if you have concerns, if you are feeling stressed, and if you believe that you need to work on your relationship. Being in close quarters for long periods of time can mean that you start taking each other for granted. Talk about expectations and coping strategies, so you can work on them together.
Take Care of Yourself
Too much togetherness can cause problems of its own. Carve out time for yourself during COVID-19 and encourage others in the home to do so as well. Go outside and take a walk by yourself. Set up a workspace in a different room from the rest of the family. Use headphones to listen to music that perhaps only you enjoy. To strengthen your relationship with others, though, you will need to balance the time you spend alone with time spent with others so that you are not neglecting your important interactions with them.
Celebrate and Support Each Other
In your communications, ask questions about what others are doing. Did they accomplish something special at work that they’d like to celebrate? Did they discover a new, fulfilling hobby? Are they pitching in to do a little extra around the house, to keep it clean and organized? Focus on positive comments of appreciation, keeping it sincere, so that others in your life feel appreciated.
Be Vigilant About Substance Use
When you are stressed over the coronavirus outbreak and its effects on your relationships, you might be tempted to turn to drugs or alcohol. Substance use will only set the stage for unhealthy interactions. When you are feeling increased anxiety, be vigilant about staying sober for your sake as well as for the sake of your relationships with supportive friends and family members.
CONTACT BRC RECOVERY FOR HELP
At BRC Recovery, we understand the stresses you are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. When you need help with mental health or substance use issues, help is available. Contact the professionals at BRC Recovery when you are ready for real change for your life. We offer proven treatment options that will empower you to reclaim your life.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer a safe, clean environment so you can continue receiving the highest quality of care. To learn more about our services and to get the help you need, please call BRC Recovery at 1-866-291-2676 to speak to our team.