We can create the world within ourselves and for our loved ones into beautiful spaces, even in trying times. A kind word, a thought, an emotion, is all it takes. Forgive often. Be grateful about things that could’ve gone wrong, but haven’t and for the people we have in our lives. Count your blessings. In the future, we will be able to look back at the happy times, that saw us through the hard times, together.
When families start spending more time with one another, it could create disagreements and tension between family members. One thing to remember is that, everyone is going through something stressful and something they have never experienced before. Some might be restless, irritable, tensed, anxious or uncertain. These could bring out reactions, which others might find difficult to adjust to. Hence, do not take petty issues too seriously and personally. Instead, empathize and support each other. And you will see a world of a difference.
Here are a few things to keep in mind during these difficult times:
- Be a support to family members. Listen to them and reassure them that things will turn out to be better. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.
- Having an attitude of ‘I am right, you’re wrong’ is not helpful and might end up hurting your relationship.
- Take a few deep breaths when you are irritated. Avoid being snarky before you say something to others. Again, be a part of the solution, not make the problem bigger!
- Share your chores and responsibilities. Or delegate. Do not overburden one person.
- Try not to tell your partner what they should or should not do.
- Give one another personal space. Both physically and emotionally. The first priority is to notice when you might need that space and then create it for yourself.
- Give time to yourself by waking up a little earlier than everyone else, to sit quietly before you start your day. Stay connected to friends by calling them or video chatting.
- Have some fun.
If we focus on the stress 24/7, it will only get worse, so lighten up. Set aside some time to connect with one other. Do activities that you enjoy together.
- Let family members make decisions about the household. For instance, let the kids decide the menu for a week or what you watch on Tv or Netflix together.
- Improve on your listening skills so as to hear the other person’s viewpoint, without judging or mentally criticizing them. Better communication will pull you all together into a positive space. You don’t have to agree with how they see the situation, but having them feel heard and understood will go a long way to creating more harmony at home.
- If you are quarantined with an abusive partner, there are helplines you can call. And qualified people who can and will help you.
Manage your feelings and thoughts with techniques and strategies. Set up weekly family meetings to talk calmly about problems and to come up with solutions. Talk about how you are feeling without blaming. Humour is a great way to release tension. Try telling jokes or watching something funny or play silly games. Pick your battles and have a constructive discussion about one issue at a time. Don’t try to solve everything at once. Practice calming techniques such as deep and relaxed breathing or mindfulness (use a smart phone app such as Smiling Mind to help you get started). Replace frightening thoughts with more helpful ones like: “Breathe calmly,” “I can handle this,” “I am coping”. Try not to focus on the bad things that might happen. Instead tell yourself that the calmer you are, the better you will be at managing exactly what needs to be done. Replace negative thoughts with ‘I’ve got this’, ‘I am not alone’, ‘I’m empowered to reach out to others for help’, ‘I will find out how I can help others’, ‘This will pass’.