Relationships are complicated and often people don’t actually acknowledge and realise the amount of effort and nurturing that needs to go into them.
This is even more magnified now that we are all in isolation. It is only natural that all relationships will be put under pressure. This doesn’t just mean the intensity of the relationships within the home you are isolating in. It also means the strain on your other relationships and the impact this can have.
The majority of people that come into the counselling room are struggling with the relationships in their lives. Currently this is coming up more and more in the therapy room.
It doesn’t just relate to couples. It can mean siblings, parents, friends, work colleagues. The list goes on and on.
We are all currently under a lot of pressure – stress levels are high. Patience is short. People are very tired and a lot of people are very anxious. Isolation can lead to frustration. It can put a lot of pressure on people financially for example. It can also put a large strain on families trying to home school and work at the same time. Finally if someone has gone through any kind of recent break up or bereavement then they are likely to feel even more alone right now. Depression can start to sink in.
People often take relationships for granted. They can make assumptions about other people, or presume that they know what they are thinking. This results in relationships being taken for granted. It is when this happens that they can break down.
Another big issue in relationships is expectations. People can often expect those around them to know what they want and need. But if this isn’t effectively communicated, then the people around them won’t know how to help.
If you want to hear from people more at the moment – then let them know. They may be struggling just as much as you are with the isolation. Or they may be getting through the days they best they can. With their own struggles and ideas about how to manage it.
As hard as it can be at times push yourself to send a message, to make a call, to communicate online. The more you connect – the better you will feel. Ask your friends and family to talk each week. Make the time to call them. Or arrange a time to speak online. Maybe plan a program to watch at the same time and message while your doing it. Or arrange a time to do a workout in your living rooms and both be online. We all need to think outside the box at the moment. And it is through doing that that you will find more time in your week to connect to other people.
Right now it is so important that people don’t take each other for granted. We all need to put time and effort into our relationships and we need to make sure that they are still a priority – despite the isolation that we currently face.
When people take each other for granted, or they don’t talk about what they need, then relationships can break down. Siblings can end up falling out or feeling hurt in some way. Work colleagues can get frustrated and annoyed with one another, leaving them feeling resentful and upset. All of this can raise stress levels. In romantic relationships people can often feel betrayed, and let down so deeply that they may turn to another person for comfort. This is how affairs begin – physical or emotional ones. In addition to this friendships can waver, and people can fall out with one another.
Relationships are hard to maintain and effective relationships require effort. Open communication is key. People need to talk to one another. It sounds relatively simple, but talking is one of the biggest things that people often struggle with. As well as talking people need to make the quality time for one another. Right now are methods of communication are different and the time we can give to one another is also different. But both should still be respected.
Respect is a vital part of a relationship. So if your on a call. Sit down and take that call. Make the time to truly listen to someone and give them your full focus. If your online talking – sit down and give the person / people your talking with your full time. Just as you would if you were out in a restaurant etc. It is tempting right now to carry on doing jobs at the same time as we speak. It is tempting right now to be distracted because its easier to be when your on the phone / online. A lot of that also stems from anxiety and stress. Because the more anxious and stressed people are the more agitated they feel.
But try to make a point of being respectful to those you communicate it with. Give them your time. You will be amazed at the difference it makes – to them and to you.
In addition to this – think about other people at the moment. Be mindful of those who may feel more alone and isolated. Reach out to them. You never know the battles people are facing. And you never know the difference contact can make. Its easy for all of us right now to get into our own routines / schedules. As we try to manage this difficult time. But it is so important to take the time to reach out – and to all get through this together.
In addition to this take the time to nurture and value the relationships in your own home. Once again anxiety, stress and pressure. It can all take away from the people that are most important to us. Slow down – take the time to hug and hold the ones you love. Make sure you really listen to them. Give them your full time and attention. Turn your phone off. Switch off from social media. Have a cut off point during the day where you are truly connecting to those closest to you. It is so tempting to get caught up in everything else right now. But don’t over look the importance of those closest to you.
Sit down – eat meals together, play games, watch films, laugh, create photo collages, exercise together, paint, draw, colour, do quizzes, dance, play music, make a jar of happy memories, make a jar of things you want to do when this is all over. Invest some time with those you truly love. Its been given to us now – and while it is not easy. While it comes with its challenges. It can also be beautiful if we channel it in the right way.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with any issues in relationships then please get in touch with us 07590 663938 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are currently offering online and telephone counselling and we are also offering reduced rates where needed.