The Coronavirus pandemic led to a mental health crisis and negative economic impact.
The whole world is affected, as well as each country, but also – each individual.
Maybe it’s that you’re practicing social distancing but also live alone and can’t visit relatives, which leads to loneliness and that can cause depression and even physical pain.
It could be that you’re mostly indoors for weeks together with your partner and issues you’ve been ignoring for years have arisen.
There are also those who are now working from home and trying to balance family time and work and bring some order in their kids’ new daily routine.
In addition, the pandemic brought so much anxiety that the number of divorces and break-ups has risen. There are now more mental health problems, an increase in domestic violence, financial hardships, and strained relationships.
Even as life gets back to normal and people are working, traveling and socializing again, the uncertainty about the future, the loneliness, the anxiety and the destroyed relationships might not disappear.
But keep in mind one thing: this crisis is testing our relationships. If what we had was strong already, it might become even stronger now. And luckily, at the end of the day it’s up to us and what we do to take care of our mental health, appreciate our loved ones and communicate effectively.
So, what can we do to maintain our relationships during these times and even come out stronger? Here are some tips:
If you live alone, don’t have many friends in the city, have just started working for a new company, or else, you might find social isolation difficult. You’ll have to get creative though and do something about it.
For a start, stay in touch with close friends and family. Whether it’s video calls, daily chats or social media, it’s good to keep the conversation going and share stuff.
But the pandemic is also a good opportunity to connect with older friends, colleagues, neighbors, or even get to know new people through online communities.
Work through your feelings.
At home, you might want to have regular honest conversations with your partner and talk about each others’ feelings.
There could be a special meeting for this every few days to make sure everyone’s needs are met, you’re still enjoying each others company, and to discuss any new relationship problem that may arise.
Don’t interact all the time.
Some families, couples or just roommates assume that lockdown means you need to constantly interact with your partner and do something together.
However, that might lead to arguments, anger and hurt feelings. It’s not always easy to be kind to each other in times of uncertainty and with so much going on in the world. That’s why we should give ourselves and our partners and kids some space.
Everyone’s free to do their things at home, have a walk outside every day, be alone in the room, or just relax and do nothing.
Picking up new hobbies or turning to enjoyable solo activities is a good way to have some ‘me’ time and avoid interacting with those you live with all the time.
When you connect, do it right.
There’s an interesting theory of psychological development created by Erik Erikson. According to it, there are 6 stages of development. The last one is called Intimacy vs. Isolation and concerns young adults trying to create meaningful relationships.
Learning more about this stage can help you develop the skills necessary to resolve conflict, connect on a deeper level, and build intimacy with someone other than a relative or friend.
This point of the list may seem the opposite of the previous one, as here we encourage connecting to the people around you and opening up. That’s because not having your social needs met might feel like rejection, which can result in isolation and loneliness. That’s bad for our mental, spiritual and physical health, and it’s definitely something we want to avoid during times of crisis.
Here’s a good read on Intimacy vs. Isolation to learn more about this stage of psychological development.
Remind yourself that this too shall pass, so until then, you might as well appreciate those around you, be kind to them and listen.
This situation won’t last too long, it’s not worth ruining a relationship over it either. So be patient till it passes and maintain healthy relationships.