It must have been challenging to stay in the house with your spouse/partner amidst this coronavirus crisis. Your family could be feeling the pressure and the stressful environment in the household and existing outside.
Being confined indoors can feel a little claustrophobic and constrained. And you might find it all the harder for managing anxiety in a relationship.
Also, talk about the worst-case scenario, the what-ifs, and come up with a plan that works for your family. Yes! It helps in managing anxiety in a relationship.
Ask the following questions:
A. What if we lose our income?
What bills can we let go (e.g., cellphone, cable, moving to a smaller place), what bill payments can we postpone (e.g., condo fees, credit card), and what bills can be negotiated (e.g., rent, private loans)?
If you have children and they are being forced to stay home, how does that affect the household environment? Can you still work from home?
Who will be looking after the children when you are locked in your room for work? Who will be responsible for feeding and caring for the children?
C. What if one or both of you die?
Sound scary? Well, being prepared for any eventuality is a smart thing to do. Just download a free will sample document from the internet and write your will.
Write down your bank accounts, properties, priorities, and desires—record log-in and password information for those accounts at a safe place. Have a living will be prepared (for hospital/health decisions).
For managing anxiety in any relationship, build up skills and behaviors that promote caring for yourself.
This includes knowing how to take some breaks to regulate your body or notice when you need a break to go for a walk, drive around, or even take a nice bath.
Mental breaks are also necessary. Watching a movie, reading a book, talking on the phone with family or friends, or playing a game can put a pause in your anxiety and restore your mood.
Watch this video to learn about the importance of self-care:
5. Care of others
People like to feel loved and cared for. Your family is no different. Find ways to make them feel appreciated, and they will likely reciprocate.
Engage in doing small things like offering them something to drink or eat, ask them if they want to go for a walk or drive around a little, help them with their chores and activities they are engaged in.
When you feel the connection and a sense of normalcy, not only will your anxiety diminish, but you are also helping reduce stressors in your body.
This is one of the best ways of managing anxiety in relationships.
6. Professional help
Most importantly, if you are having crippling symptoms of anxiety such as constant heart palpitations, a knot in your throat, nervousness, difficulty breathing, racing thoughts, or difficulties falling and staying asleep, find professional help right away.
Talking to a psychologist and/or taking medication for anxiety will help with your symptoms and help with your relationships.
To learn about other signs and symptoms of relationship issues and anxiety, click here.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Marriage therapy / Couples' counseling and Reproductive Psychology are her specialties. She sees adults who value good/ in-depth treatment to find the roots of their problems and help with symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief, relationship issues, acculturation, etc.
Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove also offers support to couples who are going through surrogacy and adoption process, besides treating issues from chronic infertility, baby loss, pregnancy loss, and postpartum depression (for both men and women).
Dr. Marzullo-Dove is married, a mother of two, and grandmother of one. Her practice is in both Tampa and Clearwater - Florida. She enjoys walks in the waterfront park nearby.