By now many of us will be getting used to spending much more time with our loved ones than normal. We have also just had four days of the Easter Holiday, during which time many of the things that we would normally anticipate doing have not been available to us. This can create stress and frustration for everyone, especially but not exclusively for children.
Being thrown together 24/7 can stir up lots of unwanted feelings and for some people it will need to be managed with care and understanding.
No matter how much you love your family, this is not something that we are familiar with doing to this extent.
For many people there are also important working relationships to be taken into consideration.
- This week we would like to offer you some tips on how to help you develop stronger, tolerant relationships to sustain you through this time, as none of us have any idea when this is likely to change. Use it to develop things positively.
- Try to negotiate agreed, regular amounts of ‘You Time’ — that is time on your own. Time for whatever you want and or need to do to in order to preserve your well-being. In this way you will know that at certain, agreed times each day, you will have time to do exactly what you want, whether that is to just sit and stare into space or to talk to a friend. Encourage your loved ones to do the same and ask that everyone respect each other’s ‘You Time’.
- Have regular, agreed, check-ins to find how things are going with each other. You can even extend this to family and friends who don’t actually live with you too.
- Use the check-in by enquiring for example, who needs any help? Who is in most need just at this moment in time? What can be done to help?
- Be honest and genuine with each other, do not hold onto or save up resentments. If you have something that is bothering you, talk about it calmly, before your feelings become overwhelming and you run the risk of over reacting.
- See your check-ins as an opportunity to evaluate the way you are managing routines which are new to everyone and if appropriate to recalibrate these to everyone’s benefit.
- Building strong relationships with your work colleagues is vitally important at this time. Ensure that you have appropriate, regular conversations and make sure you ask each other how things are going. Of course, the work task is important but the person in charge of the specific task is more important, the task cannot get done effectively if the person feels unimportant and disconnected.
- For leaders it is vital to acknowledge that some of the people you lead may be finding working from their home environment extremely difficult and challenging. For example, they may be missing face to face interactions with colleagues and workmates. It may surprise you to learn that for many people the main reason for going to work is the benefit they derive from the relationships and friendships they have. For some this may even be the primary reason they go to work.
- See this time as an opportunity to build trust. Work relationships which are built on trust are by far the most successful and the most productive for all concerned. Not only that, it is nigh on impossible to work effectively with people you do not trust; or with people who do not trust you! Trusting that they are capable of being successful is one form of trust, but trusting their ethics, values and understanding who they are at a deeper level also creates trust.
- During this period, it can be all too easy to fall into being grumpy with others. Choose instead to see this as an opportunity to cement your relationships, making them stronger and more fulfilling for everyone.
- Remember to step back and take a breath before you react.
Christina Bachini and Pat Young, co-authored this article.