In these current times, given our current Pandemic, we have learned more than ever about relationships. We have been in close proximity with our spouses and our children more than ever. Many of us have also been separated from our close family members and friends that we love dearly due to concerns of spreading the Novel Coronavirus. We have grandmothers and grandfathers that we can’t visit due to them being a high-risk population. We may also have friends who have high risk family members who can’t risk being exposed in fear that they may give the virus to their family members.
The divorce rates are up, children are being homeschooled, many of us work from home, the unemployment rate is up for others… needless to say our country is under an enormous amount of stress. The worst part is many of us do not have our normal support system. Normally, we would be able to go to work and though it isn’t perfect, we are still able to communicate with other adults. The same for our children. They aren’t used to this type of isolation, either. We are not used to not having access to our normal outlets and social support. Whether that is having brunch with our girlfriends, men playing basketball or golf, or kids having play dates, it is missing. We all have come accustomed to time spent with our village. We feel better when we can nurture our relationships (not just our immediate family, but the families that we have created with our close friends).
One thing that we have learned through all of this is just how valuable these relationships are. We’ve heard time and again that human beings were not meant to be alone and are meant to live amongst other people. That’s just our nature as humans. Now more than ever, we are seeing why it’s true. This is so essential that we have found it difficult to obey the guidelines by our Governor of limiting our social interactions. Initially, some of us were so upset that people were not willing to just stay at home and stop spreading the disease. What we know now, after several months, is just how difficult it is to not be around the people we love or even like, to be honest. Some people just need the comfort and interaction of others and that need is more severe for some than others. I’m an introvert and can go a lot longer than someone who is an extravert without having social interaction. My extraverted friends were going stir-crazy the first few days of the government imposed lockdown.
Now, here we are months into combatting this virus and the rates are rising again. We are tasked with trying to find a balance between staying safe, but also maintaining our relationships and mental health. What are some ways to help you get through this time? I have listed some recommendations below:
- Facetime is your friend: Utilize facetime to “electronically visit” your loved ones. My mom is not a “phone person” but she is a grandmother who wants to see her grandbaby just about every day. We both utilize facetime regularly to give her that interaction with my toddler being that she is not able to spend time with her right now due COVID. Once upon a time you needed an iPhone to facetime, but now you can use Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Duo, etc.
- Play online games or have conferences with one another: My sister hosts Friday Night Girl’s Night In with me and 5 of her closest friends either on Zoom app or Houseparty app. Some nights we just talk other nights we are on Houseparty playing virtual games with one another.
- Practice self-care: nurture your relationships but also the relationship with yourself by taking much needed breaks to do whatever it is you feel that will be conducive to your peace and well-being. <<<<< This will be the focus of our next blog<<<<<<
- Play games with your family: If you can, rack up on some games or create some household games to allow your family time to laugh and enjoy one another. Get those pre-teens and teenagers out of their room to have real interaction and time off social media.