It’s hard to deny the financial, mental and emotional strains that the pandemic has brought upon families in the US and across the world.
Back in July and October 2020, a leading British law office revealed that it saw a 122 percent rise in total divorce inquiries compared to the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, a top-tier US legal contract creation website said that its divorce agreement document recorded a 34 percent sales increase last year, which even included couples who were married for a mere five months.
With the immense pressure caused by COVID-19 on families, strained relationships became pretty prevalent beginning last year until today. If your family is undergoing a similar situation, you have to act fast to salvage your relationship and keep your family intact throughout this crisis.
Here are five ways to cushion the ill effects of the pandemic on your family’s relationship:
Look after each family member.
During a devastating crisis such as COVID-19, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of what every family member is doing or experiencing. No matter how subtle an individual family member’s internal struggles may be, things could quickly get out of hand when the family member in question fails to receive proper and immediate intervention.
As such, you should find time to constantly check up on each other through simple gestures as asking how their day was and initiating face-to-face encounters despite your busy schedules. Through such techniques, you’ll have constant chances to see if a family member is doing well or not, depending on the body language or verbal replies you’ll receive and observe.
Seek professional help when necessary.
There are times when one’s way of handling a troubled family member might do more harm than good due to the lack of training on how to scientifically manage the situation. If you’re not confident or skilled enough to deal with a problematic family member, then you should quickly seek help from a licensed family counselor.
Remember that no matter how well-meaning you might be, you can only alienate your troubled family member or make things worse with the way you approach the problem. A counselor has the right training and knows the proper approach based on specific family issues, so he or she is in the best position to provide the right intervention.
Family or not, open and constant communication is key to facilitating and maintaining smooth relationships. While this may be easier said than done, you should, nonetheless, make conscious efforts to keep communication lines open within the family. This is particularly important if one or two family members are not living with you in the house due to work or other reasons.
Thankfully, technology has made it easy to bridge physical distances between people, so all you need to do is make a few taps on your electronic device or do a few clicks of the mouse to start an audio or video call. Use such tools available to ensure that no family member will feel alone amid this crisis.
Identify your problems and brainstorm for solutions.
COVID-19 sure affected people in many ways than one, thus making it a perfect storm of a crisis that could break apart even a tightly-knit family in the blink of an eye. In many instances, families suddenly explode because they fail to pinpoint the root causes of their problems and talk about ways to solve them.
Knowing such, the simple solution is to constantly schedule family meetings where you’ll each identify your personal problems, lay all of them on the table, and then brainstorm possible remedies. By putting your heads together in identifying both problems and solutions, you’ll have better chances of managing your situation and even preventing potential conflicts.
People have different coping mechanisms when it comes to problems. While it may work for a family member to spend a few quiet hours to let a panic attack pass, another family member may resort to drugs and alcohol to cope with the situation. As such, you have to all acknowledge such differences and always be ready to come to a family member’s rescue to provide emotional support.
You all have to remember that as a family, you’re in the best position to show genuine care and empathy to a struggling family member. On many occasions, a troubled family member only needs to feel and see that someone in the family is willing to sit down and listen without passing judgment. Do this and see first-hand how it could work like magic.
Nobody said that surviving the COVID-19 pandemic would be easy; however, it should not be seen as an impossible task. With these simple ways, your family can stick together and survive this crisis still united as one strong unit of society.