While every relationship is based on patience, trust, and mutual understanding, feelings of nervousness and anxiety can easily destroy love and tenderness. Anxiety works differently for everyone but one thing’s for sure – it ruins everyone’s peace of mind and leads to feelings of self-doubt and depression.
What makes these particular times even more stressful is the fact that we're self-isolating; there's a deadly virus out there that's wreaking havoc, and so far, it's beaten us in every round we’ve played against it. This requires even more work to keep relationships from falling apart due to unintentional outbursts and additional responsibilities.
But there’s always good news. There are several ways to combat stress and anxiety in family relationships, and they're not as hard as your anxious mind makes you think they are. The easiest of things include exercising, eating healthy, resting well, while other more in-depth strategies include social and mental interventions.
Here are some tips we at Happiness Coach suggest you try to battle anxiety and strengthen your relationship with your family.
Be Open About Your Feelings
Every relationship goes through a tough period now and then, but feeling overwhelmed and anxious can make things seem worse and more out-of-control than they actually are. During such times, people often decide not to talk about what they're feeling, fearing that it might be difficult for their family to understand, or it may just make things worse.
But you must understand that difficult feelings tend to grow when they’re suppressed, ultimately destroying you and your relationship with loved ones. Trust your spouse and children, and have that ‘difficult and uncomfortable’ discussion with them. Open up about everything; feelings of uncertainty relating to the pandemic, difficulty in managing chores, feeling afraid of the illness of loved ones. You never know – your initiative might encourage your family to speak out and share their worries as well!
Take Good Care of Yourself
Feeling anxious doesn’t mean you need to stop eating and resting. Anxiety is a menace that affects both the physical and mental aspects of your life. So, eat well, do regular exercise, and meditate. All of this will help your brain fight off those feelings of anxiety and help you connect better with family.
Keep in mind that no one can help you unless you decide to help yourself first. Think of it as a ‘self-care investment’ in your relationships. To make things easier, invite your whole family to join you in chasing a healthier lifestyle.
Try Breathwork Exercises and Mindfulness
Breathwork is a modern term for different breathing practices. It simply involves consciously controlling your breathing, which influences your mental, emotional and physical well-being, along with having a claimed therapeutic outcome for stress and anxiety reduction.
There are many types of breathing exercises available – just close your eyes, loosen your muscles, relax your mind for a minute, and practice the deep breathing exercise as instructed. You can also add this ritual to your meditation routine. We recommend you try these acts of mindfulness, as they are bound to calm your mind and help you focus on the positives in life.
Practice Positive Parenting
If you’re working from home, things can become extremely challenging and stressful. Just thinking of having to balance family responsibilities with work makes one develop anxiety! And then there’s the opposite scenario – if you can’t work from home, this creates additional stressors, such as fear of balancing finances and losing your job. Bottom line: stressful thoughts create anxiety, which creates a bad mood, which affects the family.
When going through this horrible phase, try these simple parenting techniques to help establish a good understanding with your family, especially your children, who usually face the brunt of all our tensions. These simple tips will help relieve feelings of anxiety and create a sense of positivity within your home:
· Set reasonable expectations with your children.
· Give your children lots of love and attention. Make sure they know you’re there for them, no matter how busy or burdened you are.
· Encourage good behaviour and appreciate when it is being practised.
· Be a positive role model.
· Set limitations and implement them calmly.
· Create structure - set a fixed sleeping routine and school schedule, and also create time for exercise, household chores, and playtime. This majorly helps in keeping stress levels under control.
Remember to Laugh!
We at Happiness Coach can't stress enough on the importance of laughing! Anxiety affects us differently, but a few laughs and smiles can help you pull through difficult times and reconnect with a family like never before. Watch a movie, listen to music, play a board game, cook together; you understand you and your family better than anyone else, so do what’s right for them.