As we globally respond to the COVID-19, or Coronavirus, epidemic, we have likely seen the funny memes suggesting that most couples and families won’t make it through quarantine. It’s good for a chuckle. But, if there is anything that will help us get through this, it truly is one other. Why? Relationships are critical for navigating stressful times — for both mind and body.At ZQuiet we know that sleep problems are made worse by the effects of stress.
We also know that poor sleep impacts our overall health. When we don’t get the sleep we need, our immune system suffers. Stress is simply bad for our overall health and wellbeing.Relationships can provide stress relief by not leaving us to shoulder every burden on our own. A 2018 study found that physical or psychological closeness with a loved one can help reduce situational stress.
There are simple steps you can take to decrease your stress by focusing on the relationships you have, and relying on them in times of need.
- Recognize your loved one’s stress symptoms and your own. Talk about them so you can be watching for them.
- Don’t take it personally. Stress can cause people to say things that they don’t really mean. Rather than responding immediately, take a deep breath and give them space. Wait for them to calm down before talking it out.
- Approach your loved one if you detect stress. Ask about what’s going on in a kind and compassionate way. Talking helps!
- Practice active listening. This involves observing a loved one’s behavior and body language as well as what they say, giving you a more accurate understanding of his or her message.
- Comfort first. As much as we want to solve our loved one’s problems, they may desire stress relief instead of advice. Hugging or gently touching can provide that relief.
- Get active together. Physical activity is one of the best ways to beat stress.
- Create a list of stress-reducing activities, then choose one to try.
- Ask what you can do. It’s one of the best ways to help your loved one.Together, we can help each other through times of crisis by simply being there for one another.