Kidney Care UK counsellor Dee Durham has written a series of blogs about managing various aspects of dealing with the current lockdown situation whether you are experiencing it alone or with family. Last week was about Coping in isolation and we will be publishing a new blog from here at 3pm every Thursday for the next few weeks. This week is the first of two parts about dealing with your family in isolation, and next week will be about the benefits of talking to a therapist.
So here we are, eight weeks into lock down. How’s it going living cheek to jowl with our loved ones 24 hours a day? Fun? unusual? Hard work? Difficult?
We all of us have different relationship expectations, different past experiences and different coping mechanisms.
In addition to the day to day worry of having an underlying health condition or being in the highly vulnerable group of people, you now find yourself having to deal with grumpy spouses, sulky teens or even bored schoolchildren in isolation.
Tips in the press abound as to how we can access our inner selves, start a new hobby or do all the things we’ve been pretty promising ourselves for years.
But balancing mental-health is an elusive individual, a slippery eel at times, overwhelming at other times.
Focusing in on how to deal with family relationships may help you feel more in control of something when almost everything else is not under your control. Perhaps start with something simple…..start to notice.
Become aware and really notice your family members.
What sort of mood were they in at breakfast? Can you sense any worries, frustration or other emotion?
How did they communicate? What do you think they wanted from you in response?
Just notice them as individual people, connected to you. Use all your senses. Look at their body language, how they use expressions, their eye contact.
What about really hearing them. What can you hear when they speak? What words do they use to express themselves? Use your sense of smell, we all have our own unique smell. Just notice, no judgement, no criticism, just notice.
I wonder if you can notice your response to them? What emotions do you feel when with them? How do you feel when replying? Do you respond or react?
Two very different ways of communicating.
Just using this simple technique may allow you to learn something new about your nearest and dearest, but learn also about you, how you communicate with them and whether you really notice them.
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