The COVID-19 situation has disrupted our daily routines, affected our finances and is challenging our relationships. The crisis has changed everything we used to consider “normal”. We are grieving losses, experiencing anxiety, navigating often tumultuous emotions and bumping up against limiting beliefs. As we experience the uncertainty of unemployment and potential illness, we might be reaching for our partner, hoping for comfort and support. Yet, most couples have never learned how to communicate vulnerable emotions and hold each other in fear. To have a stress-reducing conversation, rather than taking on our partner’s fear and stress, has become a more valuable skill than ever before.
This exceptional situation is an opportunity to work on our fears, learn how to release our emotions and improve our relationships, especially our closest partnerships or marriages. Our old ways of being are currently being torn down and it is time to ask, what do we want to believe and feel as we are going through this period? What do we want our life and our relationships to look like? And which habits, beliefs and repeating patterns do we want to change?
We get to make that decision and work towards our relationship dreams and life goals. Instead of waiting for the crisis to be over, we can choose kindness, patience, compassion and successful communication now. At a time when many couples are home together working in close quarters, it is important to create a routine, maintain boundaries, design compromises, learn how to respect each other’s needs, respond lovingly to bids of attention and most importantly, have supportive conversations. Dr. John Gottman has designed the “stress reducing conversation”, in which both partners take turns speaking about a conflict outside of their relationship and listening to their partner. I find that it makes a huge difference when we can centre ourselves and speak and listen from the heart. When one of us is emotionally activated, it is up to our partner to hold that space of compassionately listening. While one partner shares what has happened and how they feel about it, the rules for the listener are as follows:
- to suspend any judgment
- to validate and empathize with our partner’s experience
- to side with our partner (or at least, to not side with the other person in the conflict)
- to remember that our partner is whole, complete and resourceful and to refrain from “fixing” their problem for them
In order to successfully hold these conversations, we need to be aware of our own fears, triggers and limiting beliefs. We need to know how to self-regulate and how to not let our own emotions spill over into the moment when our partner needs us to support them.
REGARDING THE (FINANCIAL) SITUATION:
- Even though (financial) uncertainty is a part of my life right now, I know and trust that I am safe / taken care of / financially resourceful etc. at all times.
- I relax and accept when things are temporarily on hold, being grateful that I now have the time to take care of myself.
- It is okay for me to slow down and enjoy my time with my family.
- I embrace the current situation as a gift to slow down / to focus on my relationships / to find new financial avenues etc.
- I let go and trust that all my needs are abundantly met in this current situation.
- I do my best and my best is always good enough.
- I take good care of myself by giving my body enough sleep, physical movement and healthy nutrition.
- I keep my immune system strong through rest and exercise.
- I do everything in my power to stay healthy and beyond that, I let go and trust.
- I enjoy the slowing down and I relax into a different rhythm.
- I easily and effortlessly communicate my needs to my partner.
- Both of us working from home is smooth and easy for us.
- We naturally switch between being connected and focusing on work.
- Each time my partner is distracted, I remember that he/she is simply focused on work.
- We make time for each other (and the children) at the end of the day to connect and talk.
- It is safe for me to be vulnerable and share my fears with my partner.
- I am good at self-soothing when I feel emotionally activated.
- It comes naturally to me to be present for my partner.
- I listen non-judgmentally and acknowledge my partner’s feelings and fears.
- We creatively bring some novelty into our relationship by trying out new activities we can do at home.
- Having time with my kids and my spouse is a gift for all of us.
- We are adaptable and creative as we adjust to the new situation.
- I embrace the new situation and enjoy every moment with my partner / my family.
- I am patient with myself and all family members as we go through this time of uncertainty.
If you have taken part in one of my workshops or perhaps learned how to release emotions in an individual session, remember to use the EMOTIONAL RELEASE PROCESS on a regular basis. Here is a list of especially common emotions that the current situation might have triggered for us. You can of course also work with other lists of emotions, for example the one you would have received during the Shadow Energetics Workshop. If you want to learn what to do with your emotions, change limiting beliefs and clear out fears, please reach out for a free phone consultation.
26. like a failure
29. out of control
for Individuals and Couples
If you have lost your job or you are financially struggling because you are self-employed, reach out and talk to me about a discount, especially if you are a previous client. I am here to help you and your family through this time.
If you are a health care worker or first responder, your session is complimentary right now, out of admiration and deep gratitude for what you are going through right now.