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15 Tips for Strengthening Your Relationships during COVID-19 Lockdown
I am finding that during COVID-19 lockdown, more than anything else, my clients want assistance with their relationships. When we live with others in COVID-19 lockdown, our relationships with our loved ones are under a microscope, like never before. The struggle is real ☺.
Some are struggling with keeping their children happy when they can’t partake in outside activities. Others are trying to work from home when they have children or spouses underfoot. Others are angry at their friends for not keeping social distancing or staying safe. Still others are lonelier and/or more bored than ever. Then, there are those who want to end their relationships but feel they can’t under the circumstances.
COVID-19 lockdown is literally a crash course in soul growth! We can rise to the occasion or we can fail miserably. I want to give you some tools to help you rise to the occasion and strengthen your relationships, so that when this is all over, you can feel proud of yourself and your growth.
5 Tips for Strengthening Your Relationships within Your Home during COVID-19 Lockdown:
- Compliment your loved ones on what they are doing RIGHT. This encourages them to do more of THAT, as opposed to what you feel they are doing wrong.
- When you are having a challenge with something your loved one said or does/doesn’t do, SANDWICH your constructive criticism or needs between compliments. For example, ”I love that you are helping me with the dishes. Would you mind helping me with the laundry sometimes? I am so appreciative of you helping me manage everything during lockdown.”
- State your vulnerability or your weakness rather than just saying you are mad. You can gently say, “I am feeling overwhelmed and tired with all the meal prep now that we are home 24-7, would you mind helping me a little more than usual, just until our lives get back to normal? And if I receive more help from you, I can have more energy to be with YOU.”
- Take time to yourself in the house or out in nature, so that you have the patience to deal with everything there is to deal with at this time – this is absolutely crucial. And if you have children, they need to learn, by your example, how to take time to nourish themselves, as they go through life. If they don’t see you do this, they might end up doing too much for others one day.
- The happier you are, the happier you will be with everyone else around you. Take the steps to coming to love yourself and all your relationships will benefit. In most cases, but not all, others are your mirrors. When you are kind, they are kind. When you are selfish, it makes them want to be selfish. When you criticize others, they are critical of you.
It is also extremely important to remember that when others trigger us, we have more to learn from them! We want to reach the point where we are good to others, have compassion for the struggles they have had or are currently coping with and can simply WITNESS their words or behaviour.
5 Tips for Keeping Your Young Child Happy During COVID-19 Lockdown:
Pretend you are a child and try to think about what would excite you when you can’t see your friends or go to your usual activities. I would want my parent to play with me (pleeease!) and come up with original and fun things for us to do.
Parents, see yourselves in six months from now, looking back at COVID-19 Lockdown, remembering how much fun you made it, despite all your worries. Yes, I am suggesting you EMBRACE this time. What you will find is that the more childlike you become through this period, the less you will worry and the happier you will be. I draw from my memories of parenting my younger girls in order to share these ideas.
- Set up picnics in rooms of your home that you never normally eat in!
- Pretend your kitchen is a restaurant – you can even name it! Create a small menu for your child/children to choose from, taking their orders, using a pen and pad, with a towel draped over your arm. Ensure you mess up their orders, in some way, sending them into fits of laughter!
- Take your child/children outside and tell them that their job is to get as messy as possible. Encourage them to splash in the puddles and get covered in mud! The messier they get, the harder you can all laugh. And remember, you were going to have to wash their clothes regardless. Garbage bags for them to sit on or hang their feet over are a good idea if you are driving ☺
- At dinner, suggest your child pretend they are on a date. This game made my youngest slather spaghetti all over her face to make us all laugh, picturing her on a date like that!
- Keep a routine and even record the routine on a whiteboard, so everyone knows what to expect! This is vital to managing everyone’s potential expectations and disappointments.
5 Tips for Keeping Your Young Child Happy, While You Work From Home, During COVID-19 Lockdown:
Your child will remain happy through this period as long as they feel their needs are met – that’s the bottom line. You may want to look up “The Five Love Languages for Children” or order the book so that you can establish what makes your child feel the most loved and respected. Here are some other ideas:
- We can only be highly productive for up to 1.5 hours at a time and then it’s ideal to plan for breaks on either side of that time, for up to 30 minutes each. The age and personality of your child will determine how much time in which they are able to occupy themselves. Set a timer for the amount of time they need to occupy themselves, while you work. And, then, on either side of the work periods, you play, setup/cleanup, exercise, eat, sleep or rest.
- What your child does in your work period has to excite them. Help them figure out what they love to do and make a list of those loves. Just before each of your work periods, have your child choose from their list, as to what they want to do and ensure they have everything they need.
- When that timer goes off, you need to be right there with your child! If you don’t do this, your child will not cooperate with you the next time and their trust in you will diminish.
- Reward them with your words, affection or by other means, each time they occupy themselves, while you work.
- You can use a chart on the wall to clearly explain how each day is going to go. Be sure to plan for some days where you don’t work!
Remember, you can handle things similarly with your spouse, when you are trying to work from home – they likely won’t need a chart on the wall though! ☺
You can see that some planning is involved in making your relationships work during COVID-19 lockdown and, in fact, at all times in life. Loving and being loved by others brings us our greatest joy, as humans, so it’s worth it to put some thought into strengthening our relationships.
Hi! I’m Meredith Deasley BA, RHN, RNCP, ACC, owner of The Resourceful Mother. I have been connecting families to health and happiness since 2002. I am a Certified Life Coach, with the only globally recognized life coaching designation, specifically trained in helping family members improve their relationships. I meet with children, parents, individuals and couples to help them come to love themselves and others. My second book has a whole chapter devoted to the steps to coming to love ourselves and another chapter devoted to improving our relationships. You can find my book or contact me through my website.