MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Self-quarantine can be a trial of relationships whether it’s with yourself, with a partner, roommate or your family.
Additional stressors because of the coronavirus can also put a strain on relationships. A licensed therapist gave WMBF News insight on how to make yourself happier and maintain relationships to be healthier at home.
No doubt being by yourself during this coronavirus pandemic is isolating, but licensed therapist Mandi Mitchell explained it’s important to stay healthy and happy.
She said to focus on your own self-care. Be mindful about what you can do to bring yourself joy to your day, and do it. Whether it’s giving your pet extra love, getting your hands dirty in the garden or reconnecting with nature. Most of all, though, she said to keep your relationships a priority.
“But, most importantly I think is continuing to stay connected. Continue doing what we’re doing. You know continue having video chats with your friends and your family. Be in group texts where you’re just really keeping that communication. We’re human beings, we’re pack animals, we’re meant to be with others. So try to maintain that as much as possible and I really, really think that is going to help maintain this balance,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell is a couple’s therapist and said since the coronavirus pandemic she’s seen an uptick in issues with couples. Mitchell said irritability and snappiness are what she’s seeing in her patients facing coronavirus stressors.
However, Mitchell said if this is happening to you, it’s normal. She said recent mood changes do not mean your relationship is falling apart, and that when we feel anxiety or stress we tend to project it onto the people we’re closest with.
Mitchell explained how to help deescalate tension. She said when you’re angry, check-in with yourself and ask yourself how you’re feeling before starting a discussion. She said to ask yourself ‘if’ and ‘how’ you can make the conversation more productive, and what can you say in a positive way.
“Just really go into this idea we call fondness and admiration. Lean into the things that you like about your partner. Catching them doing something good and then saying it out loud. It just creates this culture of appreciation that’s really, really needed during this time," Mitchell said.
She said while at home, do things together you like to do but don’t usually have time for. She also suggests reminiscing and humor to lighten up a situation. She said to be willing and genuine to say sorry and move forward. Mitchell said to remind yourself why you’re fond of and admire your partner.