Surviving the Pandemic Winter

Surviving the Pandemic Winter
Young Man and Young Woman on Separate Couches Stock Photo

By Bianca Lerer, LMHC

Feeling burnt out? Exhausted? Resentful? Has your relationship gone from great to strained? You are not alone. The Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult on everyone; whether you live alone or with your parents, whether you have children or no children, and whether you’re in a relationship or single- everyone is feeling its toll.

As winter drags on, there is light at the end of the tunnel. People are starting to get vaccinated, and the numbers are improving. Still … there are many months left before we return to ‘normal’, and none of us really know what normal will look like.

We still have to slog through this period in our own way, managing our own relationships and anxiety. Don’t panic! With these few steps you will feel more prepared, less alone, and more optimistic about getting through this in one piece.

  1. Be honest with yourself – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. That does not mean something is wrong with you or that your relationship is in the dumps. Rather, it means you or your relationship could use some work. All good things need some patching and repairing. Use this down time to re-build that lost lust. Snuggle up with a movie and hot cocoa or just take some time to pamper yourself.  Give your relationship the TLC it needs, now that you have the time.
  2. Communicate – You can’t take on this work single-handedly, even if you think you can. If your relationship seems twisted, upside down, unrecognizable or is making you unhappy, you’re probably feeling more alone than ever. You need to discuss this with your significant other because chances are they feel exactly the same way. The silence in your relationship is not due to lack of concern; rather, the silence is there out of protection. It can be scary to admit that your relationship isn’t as strong, great, romantic, easy, etc. as it used to be. Half the battle is admitting it and talking about it. Remember, relationships include the ones you have with family members, spouses, partners, friends, and children. Reach out and connect with others; it will make them feel less alone, and can enhance your mood.
  3. Be proactive – this means seek help. There is absolutely NO shame in needing guidance and help to navigate this rocky time. Help can look very different for each person or scenario; therapy can be about skill building, having an outside perspective, or even just a safe space and a designated time to talk. You won’t realize how life changing it could be until you jump in with two feet and try it out for yourself.

The good news is, 2020 is over. The bad news is, 2021 has presented its own challenges, with political upheaval, violence in the capital, and a slow and confusing vaccine rollout.  Don’t be alarmed. You are not alone in this. Millions of people across the country are feeling similarly to you. As spring approaches, take this opportunity to use these steps and don’t keep it inside anymore.  You can be in control of your relationships and make a change, for the better. Do something about it. Talk about it.

If you need help, we have therapists at the Ross Center who specialize in couples counseling, family therapy, and individual therapy for adults and children. Contact us so we can provide you with the tools to improve your relationships and respond in new, more effective ways to uncertainty and stress.

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