At a time when stress, anxiety and depression are at an all-time high, it’s even more crucial to take a step back and assess how you are impacted personally. When individual stress levels are high, our tolerance level lowers significantly. When this happens, simple conversations may quickly escalate into bigger problems. Managing your individual stress level and practicing great self-care can help make sure you are bringing the best ‘you’ to the relationship.
Bump up the communication
It’s no secret that communication plays a significant role in maintaining healthy relationships. What we don’t always consider is that stressful situations may require even more communication than normal. What might have worked well for you and your partner pre-pandemic may not work at all now. Unless you have conversations about changed expectations and needs, it’s possible conflict may increase.
Frequently and directly let your partner know what you need. Life does not feel normal when living in a high-stress situation, and it’s not uncommon that needs might change more often. If you need more time to connect, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you’re struggling with childcare, or if you’re tired, let your partner know. Just having the conversation will help you practice good self-care, open up the channel of communication, and invite your partner into your struggles. This practice will also increase intimacy and connection between you and your partner.
Even when we’re not living life in the middle of a pandemic, we find that one of the major areas couples often struggle with is communication, and they experience significant conflict as a result. When we help couples get to the heart of the issues they’re experiencing, we often find there are unmet needs and expectations that have never been voiced. Making sure you intentionally communicate during this time will ensure that expectations and needs are clear, and even if frustration and spats still happen, you will have a more accurate understanding of what you’re both talking about!