With all the recent changes, chances are you’ve spent more time than ever at home with your family. While this can be beneficial for a variety of reasons, it can also create tension and highlight family problems. Not to mention the fact that your entire family dynamics may have changed as a result of having everyone under the same roof for extended periods of time. Arguably, this pandemic has taken many things from all of us, but healthy family relationships shouldn’t be one of the them.
While it is easy to focus on all the things that have been taken from us, we should also try to focus on some of the things that can be gained during this time. One of these things is the opportunity to address family problems and improve family relationships. Although you may not realize it, now is the perfect time to start family therapy. Here’s why:
Being able to communicate effectively with one another is especially important while in close quarters with one another. Effective communication can help reduce the frequency and severity of conflicts, as well as support a more harmonious lifestyle. It also helps to alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with misunderstandings and conflict. Open communication is also important for allowing family members to express themselves in a constructive way. With so much time spent with family, there are bound to be moments where someone is in someone’s way or on their nerves. Being able to communicate with one another effectively will decrease the likelihood of escalating confrontations among family members.
As mentioned above, we’ve all lost things due to this pandemic. Unfortunately, some have lost more than others. Establishing a deeper sense of empathy for one another is especially beneficial during times of loss or grief. Being empathetic towards other family members helps to establish a sense of trust and develops a supportive family environment.
Develop Healthy Coping Skills
Life is full of challenges and this year has highlighted that fact. The way we cope with those challenges can affect our own well-being, as well as the well-being of those around us. Developing healthy coping mechanisms as a family establishes a sense of cohesiveness and helps the entire family to move forward during challenging times.
Improve Problem Solving Skills
With so many sudden and unexpected changes to our daily lives, problem solving skills are more important than ever. This is especially true when you have an entire household of people all trying to work or go to school under the same roof. Learning how to work together to solve problems rather than against each other will help everyone to be more productive and less anxious.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
It can be tough to establish boundaries when everyone is always in the same place. However, a lack of boundaries can create a variety of emotions and problems. Learning how to make individual boundaries and how to respect the boundaries of other family members will create a more positive environment for everyone. With so much time spent together, it is important to set aside alone time and create personal space for every family member to retreat to.
Dr. Miller is trained in Adult, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is also trained in Anesthesia and Pain Management. Because of her broad experience, Dr. Miller is uniquely qualified to treat psychological trauma, depression and anxiety that can occur as a result of injury or disability. For more information, schedule a consultation at NJ Family Psychiatry & Therapy.