Here at Total Nutrition and Therapeutics, we’ve created a total mind and body approach to health. We believe that the human body is interconnected and requires a holistic health regimen that combines physical and mental wellness. Some of the most important–and at the same time, overlooked–aspects of our overall well-being are our closest interpersonal relationships. That’s why today, we’re going to talk about relationship resilience during the pandemic.
By late February of last year, it was becoming clearer by the day that things were going to change, big time. Over the next few weeks, institutions, events, businesses, and even some government agencies began to close down as the coronavirus began to spread throughout the United States. Almost everything about the way we live changed during those few weeks–the way we work, the way we shop, the way we socialize (or don’t socialize). More specific than COVID-19’s effect on relationships in general: relationship resilience.
Relationship challenges during lockdown and how to solve them
Widespread lockdowns made taking care of our mental health perhaps even more difficult than maintaining regular exercise and nutrition. From isolation and loneliness to forced daily interaction, the coronavirus has thrust upon us practically the whole gamut of social struggles. And when it comes to our relationships with our significant others, never before has upkeep been more crucial–as has been apparent as the divorce rate has skyrocketed during quarantine.
Our relationships with significant others and spouses have become particularly challenging. Here at Total Nutrition & Therapeutics, we’ve aggregated the most impactful changes and challenges presented by lockdowns and quarantines, along with the most effective ways of resolving them. In the end, our goal is to help you instill resilience into your relationships with significant others, spouses, and partners.
The problem of constant facetime with your significant other
Before smartphones, ‘facetime’ wasn’t a videophone application. It meant getting some desired exposure to someone, whether with a higher-up at work or a crush at school. “I really need some facetime with the boss if I want to get that promotion,” we might say. Or for married couples, “My husband and I are just so busy with work and the kids, we have to schedule a date night if we want to get any facetime!”
Things changed pretty quickly once lockdowns were underway. With many couples stuck working from home or looking for work, they are often forced into constant exposure to each other. As we all know, there can be too much of a good thing. Constant interaction is rarely healthy for any relationship, let alone a marriage or partnership that’s supposed to be built to last for the long haul.
However, there is a solution: plan some alone time–regularly. You can fill this time in myriad ways. Take a walk, engage in isolated activities in another room, or plan a safe playdate with a friend in a quarantined area. The most important thing? Plan plan plan. Too often, you will find yourself drifting back toward your loved one. It’s physics! So talk to your SO and make sure that you’re both on the same page.
Resolving conflicts that arise from constant interaction
Here at Total Nutrition & Therapeutics, we’re guessing that you’ve probably gotten into a few tiffs with your SO. Okay, so maybe that might be an understatement. Fear not, my friends! At times, it might seem like your relationship is eroding before your very eyes, but there are many ways to address conflicts that arise from constant interaction. Here are some of the most common issues and our favored methods of resolution:
- Cute idiosyncrasies have become incredibly annoying: Remember how cute it was when he tapped his pen against his glasses while focusing? Or how she always chews on her fingernails when nervous? These little peccadilloes used to make us swoon–but now they’d sooner drive us insane!
The tapping is incessant, the nail-grinding torturous, and you just can’t take it anymore–first, breathe. Studies show that most of our frustration comes from the misattribution of our emotions. Meaning, it’s not really that your boyfriend’s tendency to clip his nails over the sink has suddenly become impossible to cope with. It’s that your overall stress levels have risen to the point that they have no other repository, save for his failure to use the waste bin. It’s not like we can take it out on anyone else these days…
The first step is to remember your SO’s strengths and why you fell in love with them in the first place. During times of stress, we tend to forget the good things. From here, it’s easier to be mindful about why you’re upset.
- New information comes to light: This doesn’t have to be some big revelation about a past relationship with your best friend. No, in the vast majority of cases, we find out something about them–such as a hidden habit–that can seem like a game-changer. And that’s different for everyone. While finding out that your girlfriend smokes a cigarette after work every day might not be shocking to some, the simple fact that your husband wishes an ex a happy birthday might be hurtful to others.
The most important thing is to remain open-minded. This is the same person you knew two minutes ago. The overwhelming probability is that the relationship dynamic is no different. And for the person who’s been ‘found out’, it’s just as important that you listen to your partner.
The bottom line? It comes down to communication. Not just that you hear each other out, but also that you discuss why this thing was hidden, whether it was meant to be hidden, and how you each feel about it.
- Use I statements: Speaking of feelings–and this goes for any situation, including those listed above–it’s important that you don’t project feelings onto each other. Regardless of the nature of the conflict, always start your statements of feeling from your perspective. By attributing feelings to the other person–e.g., “You make me so angry”–you place the blame on them and fail to accept responsibility for your part.
On the other hand, by using I-statements, you leave the door open to more possibilities. You also help the other person avoid feelings of shame and guilt, which only deepen conflicts between spouses and partners.
- Postpone the discussion and reflect: These could easily be separate solutions, but they go so well together that we here at Total Nutrition can’t help but join them.
The vast majority of our conflicts are due to emotion. This may sound painfully obvious, but it wouldn’t need to be stated if we heeded this fact. In truth and in practice, with time and distance, 99% of the time we tend to realize a more objective perspective. With this, we let go of grievances and make compromises–which are the foundations of any healthy relationship.
When you find yourselves getting nowhere, take a timeout. Go into separate rooms and take your mind off the argument. At some point, reflect on the situation. More importantly, focus on your part in the fight, as both parties are accountable for their share of the conflict. Nine times out of ten, you will return to your significant other with a far clearer mind and a far better ability to resolve the issue at hand.
Be proactive about maintaining your relationship
Let’s face it, if they made a sequel to Groundhog Day, all of us could audition for the lead role. Many of us feel like our days are blending together. While routine is good–well, as mentioned before, too much of a good thing and all…
The best way to maintain a healthy relationship is to preempt the bad stuff from creeping in. Of course, there will always be arguments and challenges, but now, more than ever, it’s important to be proactive about finding fulfilling interactions and crisis interventions with your spouse or partner. Here are a few tips to help you do so:
- Plan fun activities together
- Make time to socialize with others
- Acknowledge that some days will be hard
- Reach out to trusted friends and family for support
- If you have kids, plan ahead to share the load
Total Nutrition mindset and mental health coaching
At the end of the day, we’re all human, and we can only do so much. Relatively few of us are professional health care workers, let alone relationship psychologists.
That’s why Total Nutrition & Therapeutics is here to help with relationship resilience during the coronavirus pandemic. We offer widely acclaimed coaching programs, including mindset coaching and mental health coaching, which are proven to work wonders on relationship resiliency. And don’t take our word for it. Check out some of our client testimonials for yourself to see.
Our mindset coach helps with shifting how you look at things and overcoming obstacles and challenges that might stand in your way. So contact us as soon as possible to set up an appointment. We’re offering telehealth solutions during these times to ensure the safety of all our clients.
Contact Total Nutrition and Therapeutics for more information about erectile dysfunction
Millions of couples across the country are confronting the relationship challenges presented by coronavirus lockdowns and quarantines. Total Nutrition & Therapeutics offers widely acclaimed mindset and mental health coaching for relationship resiliency. Visit our website to find out more about what Total Nutrition and Therapeutics is doing to fight the stigma surrounding ED!