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How to deal with relationship stress during the coronavirus pandemic


Quarantine and social distance can make relationships difficult to navigate.

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Social Distance and Stayers have challenged us to get creative about how we maintain relationships and connect with those we love. For some people, distance and space from questionable relationships or toxic people is a good thing. But navigating between required distances from those you love most, such as in a long-distance relationship with a fiancé can be challenging.

On the other hand, families, partners and housemates who quarantine together spend much more time together (which may be good), but it can also be challenging. Forcing people to stay at home, without spending a lot of time outside or trips to other places, can claim even the strongest relationships. Not to mention the extra stress that a global pandemic puts on people in general.

Below, therapist and certified life coach Chelsea Connors explains why quarantine and those at home make relationships difficult, why emotions can feel more intense than usual, and how to deal with them.

Managing expectations at home

One of the most common relationship challenges, both during the pandemic and beyond, is managing expectations. These times are difficult because everyone has their own expectations of a relationship and if you don't communicate them properly, it can lead to conflict.

"It is likely that two people have different expectations about what this experience should be like or what the relationship dynamics should look like, regardless of what kind of relationship it is today. As humans, we all have different needs, different energy levels different moods and emotions that we work through, different responsibilities at work or school, so there can be a lot of friction around what people expect of themselves and each other. That can be very difficult to navigate, "says Connors [19659011] For example, if you live with your partner or roommates during quarantine, you are probably not used to always being at home together. So the roles for those who now cook, clean and do other tasks can get blurry. It is important to clearly communicate what you expect from each other, and don't let one person hire more than is fair.

We all deal with emotions, stress and sadness in different ways

Everyone feels much different things now. This can range from sadness, fear and frustration to boredom, loneliness and much more. Everyone can feel what he has to do and the way he has to. And it is important to realize that this will look different from person to person. Just because you may feel more sad, angry, or lost than any other person in your life doesn't mean the other person is cold or you're too emotional.

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It is important to communicate clearly and calmly if you have a conflict.

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"Everyone goes through their own process of working through what is currently happening in the world, and whether we can articulate clearly or see how this directly affects us, everyone has shifted and is going through a big transition and is mourning many different things So that looks very different from person to person and can create a lot of friction or feel very difficult in a relationship or when you live in a confined space with someone, "says Connors.

Tips for Navigating Conflict and Stress

Determine What Doesn't Work

If you feel annoyed or frustrated with someone, you can easily confront them right away. But this can be a problem for two reasons: first, you're likely to say something you don't mean right now, and second, you haven't given yourself space to figure out exactly what you need from that person.

"Think about what awaits you and take your time before confronting someone else. Really think about what awaits you. Whether that seems like sitting down and writing a list of what doesn't work, or what your longing for, or that you don't think will be taken care of by, someone else you live with so you can really see your perspective clearly and put it into words, "says Connors.

Create a new normal
[19659021] Let's face it: everything in life looks quite different right now. So trying old rules, practices, or expectations on a relationship may not work now. Be open to the fact that you have to create some new boundaries or structures that better suit what life is like now, not how it used to be.

"I see a lot of people trying to fit things into the world the way things were when they were normal, and it's okay to rebuild and restructure this experience and incorporate some new expectations and new processes "Connors says. It's important to make sure you have what you need to take care of yourself, whether that means being alone every day or asking someone else for a task or take over task where you need help.

How quarantine can affect romantic relationships

While dating IRL is not on the table for the time being, couples who are going through the crisis are also facing new challenges Living alone and isolated with another person should be the real test of a relationship. I feel like people have split left and right since the crisis, and I'm not alone.

"I see that a lot too. I think that since this is an emergency, people spend a lot more forced time together and people learn a lot more about each other very quickly, in a unique situation, "said Connors.

Of course, learn more about your partner and more time together spending can also help you get closer and feel more connected, but the opposite is also true.

"I see that many people recognize both qualities, values ​​or things in their partner that they did not necessarily recognize before, or which [that] were previously easy to push away, which are now simply inevitable. So that creates a lot of conflict and many people wonder if they are in the right relationship with the right person, and where they really want to be, "said Connors.

Spending more time together during the crisis brings more conflict and things up know it's normal to feel this way and take on these challenges, take the time to communicate your wants and feelings and allow each other to process how you feel If you need more help , it may be helpful to contact a therapist who specializes in relationships, and many of them work through Zoom or Skype in the face of the crisis.

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Navigating Family Stress

Many of my friends (and myself too) have decided to leave the crowded cities and go home to stay with the family for the duration of home orders. Whether it's been months or even years since you've lived with family, the dynamics can be challenging in this new normal. Whether your parents treat you like a child or you start acting like a child again – it's important to set realistic expectations for yourself and others.

"Try not to lose your individuality in this process and really think about what you need, what your days want to look like, what flexibility and what autonomy you need to feel good in this environment," says Connors . So it may seem like you decide that you only need fixed hours a day, or that you should be able to call your friends or significant others at least once a day without any interruptions. Whatever you need, make it clear to your family and those around you.

"Again, communicate clearly [what you need] with the people you live with and ask that as a collaborative experience. Hear what other people need and what they expect and see how all these needs fit together in some way, says Connors.

Whatever your circumstances, keep some perspective on the current climate. No one may know how long things will be the way they are, but it is not a permanent situation. It will not always be like this and life will eventually return to normal, even if it is a "new" normal.

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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care professional if you have questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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