The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has forced billions of people across the globe to stay at home in a concerted effort to prevent the further spread of the virus. According to an article from Forbes, staying at home is necessary for at least 20 U.S. states.
Being on quarantine for extended periods, however, can be stressful for anyone.
Family conflicts, for instance, could arise and become more frequent with everyone cooped up together. Rather than dismiss these issues as petty arguments, families should resolve these problems respectfully.
If you’re seeing frequent family quarrels, follow these three suggestions to minimize conflicts:
1. Plan a Meeting to Discuss Triggering Problems and Solutions
Call for a family meeting to discuss — as kindly and respectful as possible — the problems and needs of each member of the family. Also, bring up potential triggers that are causing heated arguments, such as leaving the dishes unwashed or cranking up the music volume to max during work hours.
Begin the discussion by effectively describing the problem. Here’s an example:
“Since I’m doing my work in the living room, I need peace and quiet to get my stuff done quickly. But I’m having difficulty focusing on my work if you’re playing your favorite rock music on the speaker.”
After you’ve said your piece, propose a solution, such as letting your family members play music outside working hours (or use earphones to listen to music).
If you’ve identified problems that you can’t solve with a family meeting, seek additional help by scheduling an online counseling session.
2. Give Elbow Room for Each Family Member
Family members who fail to respect the personal space of others can cause heated arguments. Whether the problem is a family member using someone else’s stuff without permission or simply hanging around when the person needs their “me time,” you need to bring that up for discussion.
During your family dinner, talk about the issue directly. You could start by saying:
“Since we’ll be spending time together for several hours every day, we need to give everyone here their personal space.”
This may mean giving family members more elbow room if their emotions are running high. Alternatively, you could create a household rule on closed doors. A shut door or a door with a “Do Not Disturb” sign, for instance, is an indication for a family member give the person their alone time.
3. Perform Stress-Reducing Activities
Family members cooped up at home can take steps to minimize stress and avoid frequent and unwanted conflicts. A few activities to do include exercising to blow off steam, planting flowers in the backyard, and going through a guided meditation session.
When you need professional help during these difficult times, turn to The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health. We offer telehealth therapy for individuals and families who need advice and counseling.
A major benefit of this service is that you don’t need to leave your home or drive all way to our clinic in Westport to speak with one of our psychotherapists. Remote consultation and diagnosis is done via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing software. Your online sessions will remain secure and confidential when you connect using our platform.
Arrange an appointment with our clinic today by filling out our contact form.