Let’s be honest, COVID-19 is unromantic. Spring, the most romantic season of the year is passing by and we are under lockdown.
We miss the evening strolls at the park, the long dinners at our favorite restaurant, unending conversations with our friends at the patio, and all other social gatherings.
Humans are inherently social creatures. Social relationships are important for our mental and physical well being. Isolation, loneliness, and a lack of intimacy can all contribute to long term negative impacts on our life. BetterHelp has an article that covers all the different stages we go through, according to the intimacy versus isolation theory, created by psychologist Erik Erikson. Most importantly, it covers what can happen if we experience traumatic or difficult circumstances during these stages.
The social distance, lockdown, and other hassles that we are facing due to the pandemic is taking a toll on our lives and relationships. The coronavirus is making people come closer or be apart and isolated in unprecedented ways.
Relationship experts suggest that answering some questions may evaluate the health of people’s interpersonal relationships during this COVID-19 crisis.
- Do you feel more or less connected to people?
- If you are married, how do you feel to be at a close quarter with your partner all the time?
- How is your relationship with your partner? Is it more intimate or a growing distance?
- How much are you involved both physically and psychologically in your family life?
- Do you feel isolated?
- If you live alone, what is the effect of coronavirus on you psychologically?
- How much do you miss social gatherings?
It is imperative to reflect on these questions to understand the effects of coronavirus on your relationships with others. This reflection strategy may be just the starting point of refueling your relationships.
Read on as we shall discuss some more ways to sustain your relationships in this challenging time.
Express Your Emotions More.
Letting out or channeling off the emotions — both positive and negative is a great way to make your relationships even more resilient. This way you may better cope with the relational challenges posed by coronavirus. It’s okay to be true to your feelings and emotions while you are reaching out to others. You should not shy away from expressing your fears, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and so on while conversing with others. You may be having a video call, talking over the phone, from the balcony, or face to face with your partner; make sure you let your heart out.
You need to create spaces for the other to do the same as well. Expressing our emotions can keep us grounded and create greater acceptance in our hearts to accept reality. It is better to keep the conversations constructive and not wallow in negativity. Remember to smile and make others smile.
Find Common Grounds and Empathize with Others.
Researchers suggest that the perception of distance is only in our minds. Even in this time of strict social distance policies, isolation and lockdown situations we can remain close to people. Searching for common grounds that unite us and engaging in frequent deep conversations may help us be connected.
Frequent communications can help us share our stories, ups and downs with others. When we are open for a deep and meaningful conversation with others, we may discover many common grounds.
We are facing the challenges of this global pandemic together. Deep communications is an opportunity to learn more about our friends and how they are coping with problems, etc. This is the time to make others feel what you are feeling and empathize with their situation as well. Empathy is a great virtue that boosts our social relationships.
Find Your Me-Time.
Intra-personal communication (with ownself) is as important as interpersonal communication. Positivity at the time of crisis needs to start from within you. Your positive relationship with ownself will surely affect others when you communicate with them and in the process sustain the relationships.
The pandemic has given us a lot of free time to be at home. You can schedule your day and make better plans for self-care. Experts suggest that a regular sleeping and waking hour, minimum 30 minutes of physical exercise, nurturing personal skills, avoiding substance and alcohol use, doing meditation, prayer, yoga, etc. can help you beat loneliness to stay positive.
Take Care of Your Life Partner and Children.
A long period of isolation at home and extra-togetherness with your significant other may feel overwhelming. You need to be aware of your feelings both positive and negative. Your actions and behavior should work on creating a positive environment at home. This way you can beat the stress and sustain the marital life through this pandemic.
You may plan and do something fun or meaningful every day. Playing indoor games, trying out new culinary dishes, stargazing, watching a movie together are some of the family activities that can enliven your conjugal relationship.
It is also recommended that you don’t burden your partner physically and emotionally with all your difficulties. You need to actively share the household chores along with your partner. Moreover, if you solely depend on your partner for emotional support; sooner or later the person may be exhausted. You may find a close friend or a relative to whom you may confine for emotional support.
Disappointment, resentment, verbal fights are all too natural in romantic relationships — even more in a stressful situation like COVID-19 lockdown. It’s better to practice more patience, understanding, and listening to your partner during this time of crisis. You need to avoid the tendency of proving your point or winning the argument. It is better to pause and recollect the mind when the environment is heated up at home. You need to consciously try to be at your best behavior and set good examples for your children.
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting our social life and relationships in ways never seen before. Social distance, lockdown, isolation — the challenges that we are facing now may be considered as opportunities to be more humane and social towards others. We need to find new ways to be creative in nurturing our relationships with people in this time of crisis. Being introspective, understanding, grounded, true, and empathetic have always been effective in sustaining relationships and these will get us through the pandemic time as well.