Covid-19 has consumed our lives for the past several weeks and has changed life as we know it. Most of our loved ones, including ourselves, are having to cope with feelings of uncertainty, school closures, disruptions in daily routines, social isolation, losing jobs, working from home, and financial stress, ect. How do we best support our loved ones through these strange and challenging times? Here are some simple yet powerful communication tips.
Validation, Your Feelings Are Normal!
Covid-19 is pretty scary stuff! There is nothing wrong with taking a moment or two, or twelve, to acknowledge that it is normal to feel scared and anxious! Feeling anxious is your body’s way of telling you that something scary is happening and you should stay alert. Although uncomfortable, this is a normal and healthy reaction to Covid-19. It’s okay not to feel okay sometimes!
Ask Questions, Avoid Assuming
It is very easy to fall into the trap of assuming that we know how our loved ones are feeling. The truth is not everyone is nervous about the virus. People are feeling everything from disappointment regarding events or activities that have been cancelled or postponed, to relief and happiness about not going back to school to despising social distancing but enjoying a slower paced life. There are no right or wrong answers here! Show you care by asking your loved ones how they feel! You may be surprised by what they say!
Less Advice, More Encouragement
Seeing a loved one in emotional pain can be incredibly stressful. We often want to swoop in and take the pain away by fixing the problem ourselves or giving our advice. This is understandable, unfortunately, unwanted involvement and/or advice can undermine your loved one’s self-determination. Without being asked, well intentioned advice may come across as a lecture or demeaning. Unless specifically asked for your advice resist the urge! If I can not give advice, then what can I do? Simple, show you care by words of encouragement and by asking your loved one how you can help!
Listen and Validation: “That sounds so stressful.
Show you care: “I'm so sorry to hear that!
Encouragement: “You are one of the smartest people I know! If anyone is able to figure this out it is you.”
Offer Support: “Is there anything I can do to help?”
What is the moral of the story? Ask your loved ones how they are doing and listen with an open heart. No one is perfect and your support most likely will not be either. The most important thing is showing your loved ones that you care. If you believe your loved one could benefit from professional support please contact Compass Social Skills and Counseling, LLC at 774-847-9340 or Info@SocialCompassCounseling.com.