Strategies for overcoming family tension in lockdown.

We are all trying to make sense of this time that has arrived so suddenly and forced us into changing our lifestyles so quickly and so significantly.

In this time of uncertainty it’s easy for us to feel overwhelmed by our worries about our financial and career security and our worries about our loved ones.

And it doesn’t stop there, we monitor every cough or sneeze or sign of soreness in our throat and wonder if we have Corvid 19, of course we do, it’s only natural in these uncertain times.

If we do contract COVID-19 we wonder how it’s going to effect us. All of a sudden, from nowhere, we can enter into a world of horrible fantasies where everything feels beyond our control and influence.

Hardly surprising that tensions at home can build.

If you find yourself disappearing down a rabbit hole of worry, try and take breath and give yourself a break.

Just because we’re thinking it, it does not mean to say that we have to buy into it.

Keep breathing, nice and slow and know that it’s natural for us to blame those around us when we feel stressed.

Vicarious trauma from the news papers and from government announcements can easily be turned on their head by the vicarious resilience and joy we feel when we see communities coming together.

Notice how you felt uplifted when you saw them singing on their balconies is in Italy.

Notice how you felt connected, together and powerful when we gave the NHS a round of applause on Thursday night.

Take it all in bit by bit.

There is every possibility that we’re not going to understand what’s happening in our world all at once, so don’t try.

Recognise we are difficult times and with difficult times come difficult feelings.

Take your time, scan your body for stress and think about all the different times in your life that your body has hurt in this location. Perhaps, if you have the time, you could become curious about all the challenges in your life that you have successfully overcome.

Be aware that when we feel stressed and we are with other people, particularly our close friends or loved ones, it’s usual and logical for our worrying brains to blame these people.

Let me tell you why, when we become trapped and full of adrenaline it’s natural for us to become angry.

Anger is a power emotion and it has the energy to help us move and change.

Anger, like lightning, looks for somewhere to earth out. In this way it has focus and purpose and meaning.

But before you take action and argue with your people bring your whole self into your anger and allow yourself to breath and think.

Recognise that you feel scared or angry and allow yourself to know this is unpleasant but natural considering the circumstances.

As you think and breath why not imagine being in your favourite shop. For me, that would be a secondhand record shop or a shop specialising in Yamaha XT 500s!

Imagine bird song or imagine walking into a room where everybody knows you and everybody likes you and everybody is waiting for you smiling and happy that you’re there.

Allow yourself to feel how good that feels in your body right now and breath. Into that feeling.

We argue with each other because there is a need beneath the anger and it may be that your anger is trying to sooth fear or worry or loneliness.

Some of us don’t stop to give and some of us don’t stop to receive.

Maybe now is the time to allow your self to think about this and bring some balance to your life.

It can be a challenge to stop and allow yourself to be cared for and it can be a challenge to stop and care for somebody else.

What if we get it wrong? What if we are criticised? What if we talk it through and it goes well?

Know that your thoughts and behaviours make a difference to your outcomes.

Know that you can grow through adversity and you have probably done so many times before in the past without realising.

Resilience is not a personality trait that some of us have and some of us do not.

Resilience involves actions, thoughts and behaviours that we can learn and we can practice.

It’s within our grasp.

It’s within your grasp.

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