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How the Pandemic is Causing Strain to Personal Relationships

As if directly affecting our work, studies and daily duties were not enough, the covid phenomenon also brought falling outs among seemingly healthy relationships since last year. Many of us felt the need to cut people off because our daily living situation suddenly became too much to bear. We were so comfortable and established in our previous, rhythmic routines that a major shift in our personal dynamics (transitions at work, schedules, not being able to go out because of lockdowns) made us susceptible to break-ups. 

While the quarantine had been a blessing in disguise for families who rarely spend time together due to their respective schedules, it is not the case for couples who do not live under the same roof. The technology may have helped in keeping things intact, but the pandemic tested relationships on a deeper level – the sudden unemployment, financial woes, and the drastic change in our routine have all caused strains to every couple out there. Some were strong enough to go with the flow; others struggled so hard and thought taking a break is the most logical thing to do.

Acknowledge every single emotion

Try to stay connected with both your family and friends to see how things are going from your partner’s point of view. If your partner seems disoriented, or far from being his usual self, then something might be causing the stress. Do not jump into conclusion without trying to really understand where the emotions are coming from. It could be problems at home, or increased stress at work. In times when outdoor dates and sleepovers are not advisable, the smart use of technology is very crucial. A video call can be productive when used to assess the factors that may help you understand what’s going on. Pay attention and listen to the deep stuff — sometimes, it is not enough to just ask him what he had for lunch.

This goes the same when you are experiencing any negative emotion. It is important to be open about it, or you may be projecting your stress towards your partner or other people without you knowing it. Lay your cards on the table and acknowledge what you feel, particularly if you think you need some space to internalize your emotions. Only then will both of you come up with a mature resolution to the challenges you are facing. 

Absence, indeed, make the heart grow fonder

I understand how frustrating geographical distance can be when you are in a relationship. It’s easier said than done, but it can be an opportunity for couples to get to know each other through conversations. Make date or travel plans for the future, listen to each other’s harmless, little rants about your day, and share your home activities through video calls.

The lockdowns have instilled a new sense of distance among couples who used to regularly see each other. And because we are not sure as to when things are going to be normal again, we have to be creative about the ways to stay connected. Couples might play games, watch movies, or cook together just like they used to pre-pandemic. Quality time and proper communication are both essential. This takes a lot of practice but it will allow the both of you to understand what runs into each other’s mind. While there is no substitute for real cuddles, these can be a way to maintain intimacy.

It’s okay to opt for an official ‘cool off’ if your mental health is being compromised

If the need to be left alone, or the urge to reconsider who gets to leave and stay in your life becomes stronger – you have all the rights to do so. Discussing this matter is never easy, but you have to acknowledge what causes your anxiety. Have the decency to let the other person know of your mental and emotional standing, and why you might need some time to heal or recover. Both parties can peacefully resolve a problem when you take the chance to acknowledge your personal issues, listen to what the other person has to say, and come up with a mature resolution that would benefit both people involved. Remember that honesty, acceptance and forgiveness will go a long way.

……but what’s next?

Never blame yourself. Instead, give yourself credit for the little accomplishments

It is totally normal to be bombarded with lots of what ifs after a break up, but if you do it to protect your peace and energy, then you have to stop blaming yourself. Remember that you don’t have to feel bad for prioritizing yourself. Your emotional and mental health are two being compromised. Take the baby steps to self-recovery and remind yourself that there is no need to take on the world at once. You can start working on the little things ’til you see the bigger picture.

Healing takes a lot of time. Celebrate the little accomplishments that get you through another day, like taking a shower or dressing up. Physical comfort contributes a lot to our overall happiness. When you feel refreshed after a hot bat, and when you feel pretty after putting on a nice dress and light make up, that adds up to your self-esteem. Your overall confidence.

Try other sensible activities to break the routine

Certain routines may painfully remind you of your time together. Try to break it by implementing a significant change in your daily activities. You may spend the weekends refurbishing your home/room, or doing a wardrobe reset. You may want to include more colors in your wardrobe for a  fresher, happier aura every time you dress up. We tend to forget our personal needs when we succumb to sadness; this negatively affects our self-worth and the way we see the world. Being positive starts within ourselves. Mindset shifting cannot be done in snap; it takes practice, a lot of it. But looking and feeling good can be a good start.  

Try journaling and practice positive affirmations

Break ups are usually the result of big differences between people’s goals and priorities. Journaling can be a good way to keep track of your daily achievements. It can help you monitor the tiny steps you’re taking to successfully execute your plans. Write down how you feel each day. Sadness may still be present for a certain period of time, but journaling can help you recognize the triggers and learn possible solutions to control your negative emotions. Shower yourself with positive affirmations the moment you get up. You have to proclaim to the universe that you are strong enough to conquer the day!

The takeaway ?

Pandemic-induced breakups aren’t just a trend. It is a serious, personal dilemma many people go through. We all suffer from the drastic changes that occurred to us in just a year. The covid phenomenon struck us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. So while holding on to a relationship is a brave thing to do, you and ONLY YOU can tell if it’s still worth it. Do not hesitate to ask for professional help – I myself offer life coaching programs that might help you regather your self-love, confidence and enthusiasm. Surround yourself with people who also practice positivity. Never rush things out and understand that healing takes time. 

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