To view the original article from mentalhealth.org
For instance, all five of the Mental Health Foundation’s top tips for nurturing healthy relationships are as important now as before:
Give time – put more time aside to connect with your friends and family
Be present – this means really paying attention to the other people in your life and trying not to be distracted by your phone or your work or other interests
Listen – really listen to what others are saying and try to understand it and to focus on their needs in that moment
Let yourself be listened to – honestly share how you are feeling, and allow yourself to be heard and supported by others
Recognise unhealthy relationships – harmful relationships can make us unhappy. Recognising this can help us to move forward and find solutions
During this strange and difficult time, it’s also worth considering additional ways to protect our relationships, and try to cope a bit better with some of the relationship problems the virus creates.
A time to stay connected
Try different ways to stay in touch – use phones, computers and the post to stay in touch. Hearing a friendly, familiar voice, or reading a message from people we care about, helps us feel more connected. This is important for our mental health, and especially for people living alone, who may be feeling lonely, isolated and afraid about what is happening.
Help those less confident with technology – we don’t all feel confident or comfortable with video calling like Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp video but, as with phone calls, seeing a friendly, familiar face can help both sides feel more connected. This might be a time when younger people in our families can help older relatives to use the internet, and some of the ways it can let us stay connected.
Make new connections – some of us may want to reach out beyond the people we already know, to make new connections with other people. Online communities are ideal for this and can be extremely supportive, although it’s worth remembering they are not always safe places. There are a vast number of online communities out there and this might be a good time to find a few that appeal to you. You’ll find everything from general interest communities to more specialist communities focused on, for instance, football, particular health conditions, fitness, cookery, relationships and music.
Join an online community to talk about your mental health – one supportive community for those of us experiencing problems with our mental health is Mind’s Elefriends. We all know what it’s like to struggle sometimes and Elefriends provides a safe place to listen, share and be heard.
A time to join together in support for others
Getting involved in local efforts to support people who are more vulnerable during the coronavirus situation is good for helpers, as well as the people they’re supporting. Here is more about the inspiring effects of helping other people in our communities and beyond – and about the joy of random acts of kindness.
A time to create some certainties
Agree on who is using which parts of the home and when – for those of us who live with other people and who are feeling irritated or overwhelmed by constant togetherness, it may help to agree who is going to use which parts of the home – for instance during the day, when we may need to work and/or look after children.
Make best use of the physical space you have – this may be about planning your day, sharing or alternating use of space, being aware of others’ needs or just doing things a little differently.
Share out household tasks – it may help to share out household tasks such as washing up, cleaning and food shopping. Having a daily routine may help us to feel more in control, at a time when we have lost a lot of control over our daily lives.
A time to keep talking and listening
Create a time each day to express – it may be to agree a time each day when everyone in our home can say how they are feeling – for instance, it could be what we have found most difficult and what we are grateful for that day.
Allow a space to share and listen without judgement – sharing feelings, without fear of being criticised or told off, can help us feel calmer and closer to each other. It may help to remember that everyone is affected by the coronavirus situation and may be feeling more anxious and perhaps more irritable than usual.