Taking care of your relationships
Spending more time with the people you live with in these stressful times can mean more relationship challenges
Spending more time with the people you live with in these stressful times can mean more relationship challenges.
TIP 1: 5-MINUTE CHATS
Keeping communication open - even just a five-minute chat with the people you live with can help your relationship. Mealtimes are a great time to connect! It helps to start a conversation with a kind tone and a smile.
TIP 2: KNOW YOUR OWN FEELINGS
Be aware of what makes you angry, or frustrated, or sad, or withdrawn. There is nothing wrong with any of these feelings. What counts is how you handle it. Try to think about what triggers these feelings. For example: "my mother always criticizes me," "my roommates are making a mess," "my things aren’t working," "my parents are always fighting."
TIP 3: RESPOND, NOT REACT
In a conflict, it can be easy to react impulsively. Here are some constructive ways to respond instead: Walk away or disconnect, waiting to talk until you feel calm. Take a few slow breaths and focus on the things around you in that moment. The weather. The sounds. Your breath. Try your best to explain how you are feeling. Ask for help if you have tried and cannot calm down or if the other person is not calming down.
TIP 4: CONNECT WITH PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT YOU
Think about 5 people in your life. How do they make you feel about yourself? How do you feel about them? Choose who you give your time to.
Think about some supportive actions that you can take such as helping with chores around the house or taking time to pause and listen when a friend is in need. How can you still “connect” when social activity is limited or impossible? Are there ways to connect with them even if you can’t see them in the way you would like?
TIP 5: GRATITUDE HELPS YOUR RELATIONSHIPS GROW
Say “thank you” in some way to 2 people that bring light and strength into your life. It could be in person or through a call, SMS, letter, or some other way. If you cannot reach them, you can connect with them in your thoughts by thinking about good memories you have shared together and giving thanks for what they have added to your life.