It’s another Friday and we have another guest expert!
Well, to be completely honest, I was planning on releasing the piece on Friday but there was an emergency, and everything went out the window….
So… It’s another Tuesday 😊😊
Let’s talk about RELATIONSHIPS! It has been one of the top concerns for people.
There are many benefits of being quarantined, one of which is spending all the time with your loved one… I mean ALL. THE. TIME!
Some relationships are flourishing and some are slowly dying.
I’ve heard many stories how couples have grown even closer than before, found new hobbies, new routines, new ways to entertain each other, new ways to just be as a couple.
And then I heard some stories from other people that are the complete opposite – he is blinking too loud, she should shave her head because the hair is everywhere, the other person is in exile in the other room because one look and cannot stand each other. All the memes on social media about partners being annoyed at each other are true!
I wanted to invite an expert on the topic to help us get a better understanding how to get through this, without the negative emotions!
I reached out to Susan Trotter who is a Relationship Coach, with specialties in divorce, dating, relationships, self-confidence, mindset and communication. She coaches individuals and couples, facilitates support groups, and is a popular teacher and public speaker.
Susan has her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and was a therapist for over 20 years. Her extensive background in psychology, therapy and coaching gives her a unique perspective in helping people to achieve greater joy.
I asked her if she could share few tips how to handle the relationship challenges and here is what she suggests:
It is especially important to pay attention to your own mindset about this situation and about your relationship. How we think about things affects how we feel and behave, and that can impact the results that we get. So, when we are more positive and optimistic, we are likely to get more positive results in conversations, actions, etc. Learning how to shift your mindset can be very powerful.
In line with mindset, self-care is also critical, as we manage situations, stress and conflict better when we are well rested, hydrated, getting good nutrition, exercising and more. Finding things to be grateful for, even in the midst of stressing conflict, can also have a big impact on our mood.
CONTROL YOUR RESPONSE
It is also important to recognize that you can’t change or control other people or circumstances like this. The only thing you really have control over is your responses to people and situations, and that is where your power is.
Even if it is just time and space carved out to talk. Devoting time to nurture our relationships, even when we are together 24/7, is really important during this time. Working together, homeschooling the kids, doing chores is not the same as dedicated time to focus on your relationship.
It is also important to respect each other’s space. Couples are not used to being together so much, and people have different needs for space. Be respectful of that, and don’t personalize it. A person’s need for time alone may be how they rejuvenate, and they can then subsequently show up more fully for their partner afterward, If you personalize it in a negative way, it may actually sabotage the relationship.
Be compassionate, with yourself and your partner. Assume that you are doing the best they can. And so are they. Back to the mindset piece, if you lead with a more positive approach, it will serve you better in this situation.
When we get triggered emotionally, it becomes more difficult to think clearly. Pay attention to when you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed, and then ask for and give yourself some time and space to settle down and allow the part of our brain that helps us think clearly to return to normal. Even just taking a couple minutes to do a few deep breaths can help.
When you have conflict, agree to a time when you can talk about it, rather than doing it in the moment when you are both heated and may be disrupted by work or children. Again, assume the best in both of you. Learning active listening skills can also help.
As simple as it sounds, breathing is important during times of stress and conflict. Pay attention to your breathing, and periodically, take a moment to do a few deep breaths in and out. It will help alleviate some of the tension, both physically and mentally.
This time of isolation can also provide an opportunity for couples to strengthen their relationship, if they are mindful of the positive strategies that can help them do so.
Stress is also real on this situation on so many levels, and if the stress and conflict become unmanageable, please seek out professional help. Most therapists and coaches are offering virtual sessions and would be more than happy to provide support to help you through this situation.
I hope this was helpful to you and you’ve come up with some ideas what to do next and how to make it more interesting 😉
You can reach out to Susan for more information or just follow her on FB or her website. She is having a Dating Webinar in the next few weeks – How to Date Successfully During This Time Of Social Distancing, so be sure to check her out.