There is no denying the fact that the pandemic has brought much stress and tension to our lives. From fears for our health to financial strain to job insecurity, it has not been an easy year. But when you add to all that relationship tensions and divisions amongst family members, the stress may seem unbearable. Although we do appear to be nearing the light at the end of the tunnel, self-isolating, sickness, finances, and more are still triggers for frustration and stress, and we owe it to those we love and ourselves to face our relationship tensions with wisdom and a healthy perspective.
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF
Self-awareness is a huge part of dealing with any stress or tension in your life. If you can be honest with yourself about your feelings and even about why you feel a certain way, you will be much more at peace with yourself and with others. If something made you extremely angry or sad or worried, allow yourself to feel those emotions and delve deeper into them. Although that may not be enjoyable, it is important to let yourself process things appropriately by really sitting in the feelings for a bit. Don’t stay in those feelings, of course, but instead admit to yourself any wrongdoing on your own part and accept that not everything is going to be resolved immediately or perfectly.
KNOW WHEN TO LET IT GO
Sometimes, people just disagree – even people you love and get along with or are related to. You may have significantly different opinions or perspectives on something, and you both may feel very passionately about your opinion or stance. But you have to balance how much you value your relationship with how strongly you feel about getting your point across. With some friends or family members, you may be able to have a respectful conversation where you have different opinions, but pushing too hard with others can completely break a relationship. Most of the time, that’s just not worth it. Know when to let go of the fight, even if you’re not willing to let go of your opinion – it will help keep the peace and help you maintain stronger relationships that truly matter.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES
When stress is high and relationships are tense, it’s important to focus on the positives – not only in your relationships but also in life. Practice thankfulness regularly and be appreciative of and toward the ones you love. If you’re struggling to see the positives, try shifting your perspective or selecting one area of life that you’re especially thankful for to focus on. Especially when a relationship is strained, it can be very helpful to point out the positives in the other person and show appreciation for your relationship.
Remember that this pandemic will not last forever, and it’s not worth losing relationships over a difference of opinion or overwhelming stress. Hold tight to those you love and appreciate, and trust that your relationships will persevere through this storm.