Kindness in the face of Fear : Managing relations during Covid 19

COVID-19 has spread across nations and challenged humanity like never before in our lifetime. Many of us are scared and rightfully so. During this stressful situation, many people are snapping on their workplace colleagues, though remotely and family members in person. Such short term responses to this crisis can damage relations in the long term. It is understandable that the current quarantine situation is irritating and a lot of people just want to get out of their houses. For example, many teenagers are currently in different quarantine situations. Some may be with their family and feel safe and happy, others may be stranded and live with relatives, friends or even college dorms. Everyone wants life to get back to normal but we are far away from that, maybe this pandemic will even change the meaning of normal.

Being in such a stressful situation means that we are likely to have bad days and take it out on people around us that we work with or care about. It is important for us to realise that we cannot let a pandemic and its difficulties drive us to ruin our relationship with other people. Some relationships to end are inevitable, such as fake friends or toxic partners, and that is a good thing. However, we cannot let our mood during the current circumstances make us push away the people that we truly care about.

For this time to pass by, we must be kind and step back whenever this is an urge to criticize, snap or shout out loud. Try to breathe and appreciate that all your efforts of being safe and sane are bearing results for now, practice gratitude. You must keep reminding yourself that your partners, both in personal and professional lives, are trying to do their best amongst the crisis, just like you. This storm has to be weathered together, more with kindness than fear.

It is very important to know that no one is alone in this struggle for existence. The feelings being experienced like anger, fear and anxiety are normal but don’t let the emotions dictate how you treat others around. It is now time to keep yourself together and draw upon the strengths of your relationships. It is the ideal time to reconnect with old friends, sort out old grudges, and strengthen your current relationships. Work with your peers and colleagues and figure out the most effective way to stay at home yet get all your work done efficiently.

Many spouses are going through the feeling of being driven crazy, their anxiety being through the roof. They may feel like everything is out of control: social distancing, struggling with supply shortages, fear of the future is consuming every day conversations and interactions. This is becoming more troublesome for relations that were already on the edge.

In a matter of days, everyone had to go through major lifestyle transitions to adjust to life in the COVID-19 world. Kids were never totally homeschooled on video based learning, a job that leaves one to struggle for existence, and maintain health in such a radically dynamic environment. What is most important is to be able to navigate these changes without falling apart. There is enough reason for us to be miserable during this pandemic. People are losing jobs, for example, Uber fired a large number of its employees over a three-minute zoom call. Students are missing school and college, the feeling of learning with their friends and spending time together. Everything seems to be falling apart, we are being left with our emotions for too long, but we need to understand that right now staying strong is the only answer.

While locked down in houses, if your family members’ behavior has been uncertain, try giving them extra attention and they will reciprocate as well. If you feel the family members are uncertain and in fear, be concerned but don’t trigger them emotionally, simply sit with them and ask calmly. If they say that the mood is fine then don’t probe, just believe them on face value since you would need the same support and compassion. Sometimes, they may also want to be left alone and that is completely fine. Every person around you will be reacting to the shifting landscape in their own way so let them determine their thoughts accordingly. Everyone is stressed these days but we all have a responsibility to manage behaviors and stay positive.We need to keep in mind that no one is perfect and everyone has their own coping mechanism to the situation.