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Things are challenging at the moment as we all know. Lockdown #3 has been tougher than the first two in many ways. The added worry and anxiety that people are feeling about these uncertain times, the dark winter days plus being so restricted can really take its toll on our close relationships.

Throw into the mix home schooling, working from home and the other pressures of being cooped up inside together 24 hours a day and many relationships are being tested to the max.

Here are some things we can do to cope and create more harmony in our close relationships:

* Accept that things are difficult. If you are struggling emotionally this is totally normal. Be kind to yourself and the people around you and if you have a ‘down’ day, an over-sensitive moment or you react in a way you wish you hadn’t, just apologise and move on. Tomorrow is another day. Allow others around you to do the same.

* Show appreciation: Communicating to the people in your life that they are appreciated goes a long way. It creates more harmonious, loving and supportive environment. It makes everything easier!! You can incorporate this into your day by each person expressing 5 things they appreciate/love about the other person.

* Communication: When something has upset you it’s important to get it out in the open. Resentment is a ‘silent killer’ in any relationship. If you’re upset because of something someone has said or done, the best way to communicate this is to focus on the comment or the behaviour and not the person. I.e. “When you did/said this it made me feel …….” By communicating in this way the other person feels less attacked and more likely to listen, accept and understand.

* Allow Space: Physical & emotional/mental space is important for any relationship to thrive. This can be quite tricky at the moment. If you’re lucky enough to have separate spaces within the home to work, study separately then all good. If you have limited space I know this is more difficult. Wearing headphones when needing ‘space’ from others is one strategy and creates a boundary that you wish not to be disturbed for a while. A walk outside on your own is another way to ensure you have some alone time.

* Connection: Do something fun or enjoyable together at some point during the day or evening. Maybe you sit down together to eat and chat at dinnertime, watch a movie or have a walk together, play some cards, a board game or have a jigsaw puzzle on the go. Whatever it is, ensuring that you have a bit of quality time together will nurture the relationship.

* Laughter: There are funny moments in all this madness and laughter is so good for the soul. Watch some comedy, listen to something funny, laugh together. I think the power of laughter is often overlooked!


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