By Marshaun Olaniyan
In times like these many of us are at a loss for words and as to what is going on in the world today. This Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic reminds me of the movie Outbreak, well partially. As we go through this wave of uncertainty outside the home, we have to be conscious of how we show up with our spouse, children and other loved ones inside the house.
I usually keep a cool head and a happy attitude whenever there is uncertainty as I know God has my back in every aspect. Even in those times where I’m uncertain about having that tough conversation with my husband or how I responded to a friend or even if I’ve responded to a client in a not so kind manner, my go to is prayer and getting still. This usually keeps me, my emotions and my tongue at bay.
When you’re in a relationship you have to remember that everything isn’t always about you. You and your spouse’s emotions may be more out of whack due to being together so often, the stress of this unknown and where things will be after this wave of panic and the virus passes you by.
How do you both keep your sanity, peace and reduce that annoying stress? Here are 5 ways to do it:
- Remain kind and compassionate.
Being kind and showing compassion to your spouse is something you can easily do and guess what? It costs zero dollars to do this. During this time of heightened stress you have to be mindful of what triggers you, be able to stop the usual reactions in their tracks and choose to respond differently. By doing these things you will cut off the chances of things being blown out of proportion. You both can keep your stress levels at bay and remain close, which is what is needed right now.
- Be slow to lash out.
Lashing out only adds fuel to the fire. This creates numerous misunderstandings. It causes unnecessary arguments and brings the overall moral down in this unpredictable ever changing environment. When you are getting frustrated, put yourself and especially your tongue in a much needed time out. This could be just closing your mouth with no response. Taking a walk outside for several minutes. Going to listen to your favorite song that gets you in a great mood or going to relax in the tub. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you do not lash out. There’s no reason to add extra turmoil to your relationship. Keep things as stable as possible and free of any negativity as much as possible. Also, once those words of negativity are spewed they cannot be taken back.
- Take some time for yourself.
Even though the country is slowly shutting down and everyone is being quarantined this doesn’t mean that you cannot take time for yourself. Create a plan with your spouse and you both schedule in times that fit you both to just be off to yourselves doing whatever it is you want to do without their input or interruptions of anyone. This gives you both time to recharge, think about any subjects you need their input on later and an opportunity to reflect on any misunderstandings you two may have had, so when you come back together you feel refreshed, have more positive energy and can articulate what you have been doing and/or thinking about in your short time away from one another.
- Remain patient in uncertain times.
Patience is the key to living a healthy resilient life. Having patience with your spouse and family is what you will need while being in close quarters for a period of time. Don’t let their attitude or negative vibe rub off on you. Brush your shoulders off as the saying goes. Shake off their attitude. Look deep within and put yourself into their shoes. Ask, what could he or she be going through right now? How can I be his or her shoulder to lean on? How can I love him or her more in this moment? Loving him or her could mean just leaving them alone or simply just listening to him or her vent to release what’s impacting him or her at the moment. Just being there without judgement of how he or she is showing up in this moment goes a long way towards them feeling loved by you. We all have times where we need our spouse to be patient with us. Now it’s your turn.
- Keep your faith and know that you are covered.
In times like these knowing whose you are is very important. Knowing that you and your family are protected by the blood of Jesus can and will take you along this road of uncertainty. God’s plan for each of us is different and in this difficult and dubious time keeping your faith is one of the main ways to keep you sane. Knowing that God has your back relieves the worry and doubt. Accepting this is a part of your story and changing only the things you can control puts you in a better space. Creates peace. Reduces your stress and keeps you sane. When was the last time you prayed? When was the last time you and your spouse prayed together? When was the last time you prayed for each other? Now’s the time to draw even closer to God and your faith.
Need help being intentional in your relationship? Sick and tired of every relationship not having any depth, not taking that next step or working out? Let’s talk! Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.