Fear and anxiety may be present for many of us at this difficult time.
Couples may find themselves fighting and picking at each other. It could be easy for parents to get impatient with their kids. Couples and families are doing all they can to make it through the isolation, the frustrations, and the worry.
A challenging time
You may also be reaching for extra chocolate, wine, or binging Netflix; no judgement here. Everyone is struggling with getting through this challenging time, one way or another.
Partners often have different coping styles; that is why we work well together in most circumstances. But uncertainty brings up difficult stuff for people, and when we are heightened emotionally, we fight, flee or freeze.
We go into survival. Our brains are hardwired for survival, and right now, it feels like the bear is coming directly at us, and our nervous systems are prepared.
How we try to cope
Currently, our brains are processing a lot of information. All our resources and coping mechanisms are going towards filtering out what is truly harmful to us, what we can control and not control, and how we will manage the next step in getting through the day.
Presently, it may be hard to slow down, be aware of underlying fears and past family history that get triggered and share our feelings in a vulnerable and thoughtful way. We may be in a reactionary place, and that is precisely where we should be when we feel overwhelmed.
If we have a sense of security in our relationship, it may feel ok if we snap, if we are a little harsh, if our coping skills in managing conflict are not the greatest. We can believe that our partner will still be there at the end of this, and most likely they will.
What we can do
Crises do not create our relationship problems; they bring them to the surface. Use this opportunity as a new normalcy to help you to take a hard, honest look at your relationship. What is coming up for you both, and how will you use it to make your relationship stronger?
If you would like support at this difficult time, please do not hesitate to reach out. I am offering online sessions and would be very happy to talk to both of you more.