Sadly, it’s inevitable, another complete lockdown is on the horizon. Whether it takes the form of localised restrictions or the much-debated national circuit breaker approach remains to be seen. Either way, soon, many or all of us may be spending most of our time within our own four walls. Lockdown as we all know, brings with it inevitable strains on our relationships which is why this time we should try to prepare ourselves.
Here at NCDV, we saw a large increase in calls and referrals 3 months into the first lockdown, right at the end of the most severe restrictions, which indicated to me that at least some of these cases were probably people at their wit’s end, taking out their frustrations on each other.
We all need to take our learnings from the first lockdown, whether that be the need for routine, exercise, mindfulness…whatever got you through! But we should also look at what we need to do to preserve our usually healthy, loving relationships.
It is entirely normal that we feel anxious about ever-changing events beyond our control which fundamentally change our lives – but there is never an excuse for abuse.
The breakdown of a normally healthy relationship due to stress from lockdown is combatable. Taking the time to talk, understand and empathise with each other’s individual stresses and strains (although we are all in the same storm, our boats are all different) can help strengthen our relationships.
We are proud to be working with Lucy Power. Lucy is a leading Conscious Success Coach who is trained and experienced in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy. Lucy has some valuable advice for us all:
“It’s always important to take care of yourself. It’s also important to remember you’re not an island. However, including your partner in meeting your needs during times of stress and confusion can get complex when old and unresolved issues can be stirred up and evidently in the mix.
How about informally contracting with them now about how the two of you (and also the wider family) will support yourselves and each other in the event of a further lockdown. How about being explicit about what you want need and expect, saying what you mean and meaning what you say so that in the event, you have a plan, a way of being that’s responsive rather than reactionary. We are all scared of the unknown, this is utterly normal. Let’s make the unknowable a little more predictable with some planning together about how we can be in our worlds in the event of further restrictions. “
You’ll be hearing more from Lucy in the coming weeks and months but if you want to learn more have a look at her website.
In the meantime, I urge you to value your relationships, value yourself and value the future.
Mark Groves CEO