Surviving COVID-19 At Home
By Lindsay Perlman (Clinical Psychologist)
Reflecting on the last four weeks, I thought I could provide some ideas of how we can adjust to this new landscape of COVID-19 – by adjust I am referring to being able to help ourselves and those that we love cope more effectively with the restrictions and operating principles that have come into play.
COVID-19 has created a new landscape and reality. With the majority of us having to work from home and schools moving to remote learning, the home landscape has certainly changed. With our home now becoming our workspace, we are finding that we are in our partner’s space way more than before. This has shifted the dynamic and for many couples, this has created extra stress and strain.
We are now 4 weeks in, and I feel that most of us are moving between the depression and acceptance stages of grief. Elizabeth Kubler Ross identified 5 stages of grief and I believe that the onset and reality of COVID 19 can be understood in terms of these stages. Initially there was denial, then anger, then bargaining with the reality of not accepting we cannot go into work or see our friends and family, then reality hit and a lot of have felt moments of depression and are now are slowly moving into some level of acceptance and are trying to adjust with this new reality.
Whilst we must acknowledge that spending time at home has created opportunities for positive connection with family members, it also creates a need to reshuffle the family working relationship or working code for how a couple, partners, and families navigate this challenging time.
Based on my change management experience and work in my private practice, I have set out some recommendations which I hope will help make life at home smoother and less stressful during this time.
COVID-19 Change Management – 4 Key Areas to Address for Partners and Families
1. Focus on Increasing Communication
2. Setting Daily and Weekly Routines are Key – How healthy is yours?
3. Maintaining frequent social connection
4. Turn down the pressure valve and enhance self-compassion