Relationship Challenges During Stressful Times

Try these helpful tools for navigating personal relationships while in close quarters.

Working remotely means that we are spending more time with our families (or our roommates) than we possibly have in a long time (or ever). Although having everyone under one roof may sound wonderful, at times the strain of being in close quarters with others is also very hard, and something we must learn to adapt to. For all of you navigating your personal relationships while in close quarters, here are some helpful tools to see you through to the other side. 

Love in Lockdown

When it comes to relationships with significant others, not every day will feel like a honeymoon. Oftentimes, your partner gets the brunt of your sour days, stresses and anxieties whether you realize it or not. Here are a few tips to practice with your partner: 

  • Breathe deeply. Deep breathing is a wonderful (and free!) way to connect back to the present and something you can do on your own. Using a meditation app, video visualization or timer on your phone, you can practice deep breathing, counting the same number of inhales to your exhales for five minutes. It’ll slow down your nervous system and help you recalibrate. 
  • Don’t play the blame game. Before you start pointing fingers, take a moment to plan what you want to say to them and why it’s important to you. Give yourself some breathing room—count to 10, even. Not only will it help you to remain calm, you’ll also be able to articulate why something is bothering you more meaningfully.  
  • How do you love?  How do you like to receive and show affection? Knowing how you (and your partner) love helps you clearly understand how to connect with each other in meaningful ways (and this applies to your children, friends and family too). 
  • Are you intra or extra? Knowing how you personally recharge your batteries is important for the health of any relationship. Do you feel energized by others (from a safe distance, that is)? If so, you might be an extrovert. Do you feel energized after a quiet evening by yourself? You might be an introvert. Whatever you need, ensure you’re telling your partner what that is. It will help you to understand one another and improve your communication. 
  • Know thyself. Even though you’re in a relationship with another, it’s important to remember and maintain those qualities that make you, you! Oftentimes spouses rely too heavily on their partners to fulfill every need imaginable from the other, leading to relationship strain. People who have a broader social support network to talk to about a variety of issues do better in marriage and long-term relationships. Focus on establishing what areas you want to invest in your partner and what areas you want to invest in yourself and personal networks. 

Reaching Out

We can’t expect ourselves to be fully charged for your loved ones, all the time, particularly during times of crisis. Reaching out for support is a completely normal and excellent way to recharge and refocus. 

  • Access counselling at a distance. Accessing counselling has never been more important than it is at the moment—particularly for those feeling overwhelmed by stress, anxiety and other mental health conditions like depression. Luckily, technology allows us to continue having these services readily available for us through phone and video. Check to see if you have an Employee Assistance Program, which will give you access to a counsellor, paid for by your employer, or contact Crisis Services Canada—a national network of distress, crisis and suicide prevention phoneline services. 
  • Domestic crisis services. Being in close quarters with others can, unfortunately, aggravate already unhealthy relationships and potentially create serious risks to personal health and safety. If you’re in distress, or know of a friend or family member who is, reach out to your local crisis services—like the Ending Violence Association of Canada or your local police services—for online and telephone support any time, any day of the week. 

We’re not in our normal rhythm right now. Nerves and fears are bubbling (some already over) and it’s important to remember what keeps us well as individuals in order to show up fully for our loved ones and communities. No matter what your home or relationship situation looks like, it’s important to look out for each other. 

Business Assistance Services: Support for Your Whole Business

If you’re a business owner with benefits through Chambers Plan, don’t forget about supports available to you through Arete’s Business Assistance Services (BAS). Simply call Arete at 1-877-412-7483 with your Firm and Certificate number to access confidential and professional guidance to help you navigate human resources, financial and legal situations, as well as critical incidents that may arise at your organization.

Through BAS, you also gain access to the Healthy Business Bookmark™, a carefully curated online library of business information and resources, including sample forms, how-to guides, podcasts and videos. This site is designed to help you manage your business and your employees while recovering from the unique challenges this pandemic has created. It ensures you have access to the resources you need to shore up your future success.

Check out the Healthy Business Bookmark today through the link on your my-benefits® portal.

Arete HR

Arete HR

Arete® HR is a Chambers Plan partner and leader in assistance programs for businesses and employees. They work to build resilience within people and the organizations that support them through programs that offer human resources, financial and legal supports for businesses and psychosocial counselling and other supports for employees.