By Richa Saini, Intern, APC
Enhancing Relationships in the midst of coronavirus.
Covid-19 has impacted our relationships in many ways. The Lockdown has been a unique experience for all of us. Both positive and negative changes have occurred in our social, family & romantic relationships, which may last for a long time.
Some people got closer than ever, and some people grew apart from each other. The thing that remained constant for most of us, is the feeling of gratitude. Some of us were grateful for our relationships because this pandemic had made us feel the importance of closeness, and made us aware about how we took our relationships for granted; while others were grateful of the distance they had in their relationships, as staying under one roof for months brought a wave of conflicts in their lives.
For some, relationships got strengthened, whereas for others they got strained. So, I want to bring light on how we can enhance our relationships while the pandemic is still going on. Relationships are imperative for different reasons. They help us feel supported, loved, cared for and makes us feel that we are not alone in this world. As the great greek philosopher Aristotle said, “ Man is by nature a social animal.”
We cannot survive without relationships, and therefore, it is crucial to discard toxic and strained relationships & focus on maintaining as well as enhancing healthy relationships.
Why healthy relationships are important :
Healthy relationships are vital to our mental and emotional wellbeing, and also our survival.
- Healthy relationships lead to a longer life : A study suggests that a lack of social relationships has the same effect on health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Research suggests that having healthy relationships add more years to your life as it has a positive impact on your overall health.
- They lead to less stress: Research suggests that couples who are married or who cohabitate have less stress in their lives and are happier. Being in a healthy relationship, leads to less production of the stress hormone called Cortisol.
- They lead to a greater sense of purpose : Being in a relationship leads to a sense of purpose and wellbeing in life as we all want to do good in this world, and feel valued and worthy of ourselves.
Now let us get on to the answers of enhancing our relationships.
- IDENTIFY THE STRESSORS : Recognize the stressors that affect your communication. Most of the times, its not you who is responsible for others’ bad behaviour. We should understand that this pandemic is taking its toll on everyone’s health, mood, emotions and career, and sometimes our partner needs some time off to figure out the stressors they are dealing with. Learn to not take things personally.
- COMMUNICATE MORE: Effective communication is a very important aspect of enhancing relationships. During Lockdown, Digital communication was the only way to keep in contact with our social relationships. Now that the lockdown is over, make time for the people who are close to you, and engage in communicating effectively. Effective communication means knowing when your tone of voice escalates and when to control your angry responses. Learn to communicate in a more loving and calming manner. Whenever you have to communicate difficult feelings, take a timeout and address them respectfully by observing closely the emotional state of your partner.
- REMEMBER THE GOOD : Recall the goodness in the other person and remember the love. Conflicts subside when we keep in mind the good things that made us feel closer to that person in the first place.
- DO THE THINGS YOU LOVE TO DO WHEN YOU’RE TOGETHER :Make time for the activites you love to do when you are together, Having Fun together enhances the relationship & makes it stronger and happier.
- GIVE SPACE & MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF TOO : Your mental health matters, and giving yourself space and time is equally important. Focus on things that you love to do alone and grow beyond your comfort zone. Having some space creates a sense of love that felt lost before and gives a chance to be grateful for what you share with others & also helps to reignite the spark.
So don’t sit around for the other person to make efforts to enhance their relationship with you, rather, be a better person and make lasting changes in your life by making the first move.
By Richa Saini, Intern, APC