COVID Quarantine – A Blessing In Disguise?
If I was back, say a year or two years ago, I would be completely freaking out about the idea of having to spend 14 days in the company of my husband.
Now this is no disrespect to my husband, or to myself, however the way that our relationship was then, it was like we were ships in the night, passing each other and barely seeing each other and definitely not acknowledging each other.
Maybe, like ships in the night in the fog, tooting the horn at each other. In the form of unkind, short words.
A Chance To Reconnect With Loved Ones: Relationship Rescue
One of the reasons this had happened, was because life had got so busy. And in the business of life, and in the focus of work being the most important thing, me being here at home, and trying to keep everything rolling.
But generally not feeling supported, not feeling seen, not feeling heard, not feeling valued, there was a lot of resentment coming from me.
And it was like he just came home to eat and to sleep. There was no thankfulness, there was no conversation or anything.
So a couple of years ago now, I would have been in a lot of fear and just really dreading the fact of having to spend 14 days with him.
Couples Guidance: A Chance To Grow And Evolve
At the moment, with the COVID-19 situation, one of the things that I’m finding really important to go against, is that we’re being told we need to have social distancing.
To me, it’s actually more than ever, that we need social connection. It’s vital for us.
However, it’s the physical distance that’s really more important. So actually it’s the face to face time, with the majority of the population that we need.
Reducing The Spread Of COVID-19
We need to take note of it. Maybe not personally for ourselves, but especially for those whose immune systems are compromised, either the elderly or the very young.
The more we can keep the physical transmission of this virus at bay, and reduce the potential of it spreading, the quicker we’ll be able to come out the other side of it.
However, in this situation, I see an enormous amount of gold. One of the things that really concerns me about relationships, is that the communication that’s happening in relationships is not healthy, is not harmonious, it’s not supportive.
And I’m talking generally here, especially where relationships are dysfunctional and toxic. This is where there’s a need for a relationship rescue.
Dysfunctional And Toxic Relationships
Often it’s a one way situation, coming from the more dominant person, “my way or the highway” type of person. People are not feeling heard, people are not feeling seen, people are not feeling respected.
One of the little nuggets of gold I can see coming out of this virus, being so prolific, is that we’re being given an opportunity to do our relationships differently if they’re toxic and dysfunctional.
A little bit about the virus from my perspective, is that, I understand we have all the viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites in our world today within us.
They are already there. It is when our internal environment becomes threatened, or the environment changes, that these microbes can take hold.
One of the factors that creates the change in our internal environment, is our feelings, our thoughts, and particularly, fear and anger.
Fear Response And Our Immune System
The fear weakens our immune system, and the anger feed the viruses, so, we’re being given opportunity at this time, to tune in with our thoughts, on what we’re feeling, and recognizing, any fear, any anger, any anxiety, any worry that we might be having, and just stopping, taking a breath, and asking “how do I choose to feel in this moment?”.
One of the really easy ways, to change the way that we’re feeling, if we’re not familiar with this, is to think of somebody, or something, that helps us to feel joy, that helps us to feel excited.
It could be a pet, the memory of a pet, could be a person, could be a holiday, could be a loved one, or even just the flowers that you notice growing. A sunrise, a sunset, just something that makes you feel present with yourself.
Listen To Your Emotions
When you notice your emotions, your thoughts or your feelings, not being how you’d want them to be and particularly, if they’ve been feeding the fear, and the anxiety that you might be feeling: stop, take a breath, and fill yourself up with that, and then go on from that place.
You might find that you need to do this, many times a day, and that’s okay! Because this is something that’s potentially new for you.
And when you’re learning to do something new, we need to practice it, and we need to keep coming back to it.
Learning To Drive Again
When you’re learning to drive a car, you didn’t just get in the car and go. You practiced and practiced and practiced until it became second nature to you.
So being able to observe, and be aware of what you’re thinking and feeling, takes practice, but hey, if I can do it, then anyone can do it!
I had had years of depression, with thoughts and feelings just cycling on auto-pilot, and in a loop, all being negative and destructive.
That’s one of the ways that we can help to keep ourselves safe.
The other thing, is to make some guidelines, amongst your family and kids, just in case. How do they think this might be, if we’re asked to stay within our four walls as much as possible?
With these guidelines, they can always be changed. If somethings not working, you can always evolve and adapt!
Creating A Safe Space
The other thing I was thinking too, especially if you have children, but to make a room in the house, that’s like a time-out area.
So if someone just needs some space to be left alone, and to be quiet and not to have anyone disturb them, rather then having them go to their room and shut the door, which is challenging when you have kids that are sharing a room.
So I recommend having a designated place in the house, where if someone is in that place, unless there’s an emergency, you don’t interrupt and disturb them.
Also, to have some guidelines around the fact that everyone is allowed to use that space, as fairly and as much as they need it.
Seeing The Opportunities
The other thing of this current COVID-19 world situation that I see as potential gold for our relationships, is that we’re being given an opportunity to actively be more responsible. This means more responsible of ourselves, and more responsible of our personal boundaries and especially for our community at large.
I mentioned this before, but about keeping our interactions with the public, the physical interaction with the public to the bare minimum, and only going when necessary, and where necessary.
We might be feeling totally well, we might not have come into any contact with the virus at all, so we’re feeling perfectly okay, but we don’t know what’s going on with the environment.
Some people are not as honest as others unfortunately, and they may have been in contact with the virus, they may be feeling unwell, but still choosing to go out and about in public. So we’ve been given this responsibility to manage ourselves better.
We also need to accept that this is a reality, that this is happening, and not to buy our heads in the sand, and to react appropriately.
Because, if we’re not going to accept this, it basically means that we’re in resistance to it and that means that not only are we going to be reactive with our interactions with other people, but also that potentially every cell in our body, the microbes included, are going to be reactive, and when we become reactive, we become far more susceptible to disease, and health challenges, especially allergies and intolerances.
We’re being asked to be more accepting, of ourselves and of others. Now if we notice that someone is being unfair, that someone is panicking, someone is really distressed about what’s going on, be accepting of that.
Accept Others How They Process Emotion
That’s their process, that’s how they’re feeling at this point in time, it might not mean that they’ll feel like that tomorrow, or in an hours time, but right now, that’s how they’re responding to this.
Part of us growing, and having a deeper understanding, and compassion for others, is just allowing people to be, in the situation that they’re in. Supporting them, if and when necessary. And just being the example that they need to see.
I don’t know whether there’s anything that speaks louder to someone who’s in distress and fearful, than somebody who is calm and collective, and someone who is being kind and supportive.
Getting Back To Basics
The other nugget of gold that I can see from this situation, is that we’re being brought back to basics, and being encouraged by default to slow down.
If we’ve been mega busy in our lives, racing here and there, single mindedly focused on work and the busyness, of life, then we are being given an opportunity to slow down, and to look at how we can do our life differently.
One of the diseases of today’s world, is the disconnection that happens, from a very busy life. And we see this, with the children, the more busy we become, the more our children tend to ignore us.
It happens because we’re not fully present to spend quality time with them, and to actually be really present to their needs.
Just Too Damn Busy
This is creating a whole whack of children with fears and anxieties, and behavioural issues, because they’re not feeling heard, they’re not feeling seen, they’re not feeling valued or respected.
We hear it time and time again, that just mum and dad are too busy.
We are being given an opportunity here to slow down, spend time together and rebuild our relationships from the ground up.
This is a unique time and a unique opportunity, it’s not often that we’re forced to slow down and spend time with each other.
It’s easy to look at all the negatives here, but I emplore you to look the other way, and to see all the positive opportunities that we don’t normally get.
Integrative Relationship and Wellbeing Coach