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Hi, my name is Shontel Cargill and I am a Licensed Marriage And Family Therapist at Thriveworks. So the question that was asked was, “What do you do when you are having family problems during a pandemic?” I think that this is a fantastic question. COVID-19 has abruptly shifted us into a new norm, staying socially distant, being away from friends, family, even impacting life-changing events such as weddings and graduation ceremonies.

I feel as if this transition into this new space has impacted families in a way that has increased feelings of anxiety, grief, loss, even frustration and anger. I also feel that what families may be experiencing right now is trauma and using healthy communication skills will afford each family the opportunity to really be able to express what they’re going through. Each family member may be experiencing this pandemic in a different way.

And so it’s important to be able to create a safe space so that each family member can really be transparent and making sure that those feelings are validated and normalized what each family member may be going through during this time. Also creating a family meeting, having that meeting at least once a week just to do check-ins. It’s really important.

I think that sometimes our days may run together and so just really checking in and making sure everyone is okay and keeping that line of communication open is really important. Also making sure that you are participating in self-care. It’s really important for balance and also really important for just making sure that you’re taking care of yourself. Remember this is very uncertain times that we’re in right now. And so when you’re experiencing anxiety, you have to process those things.

And so really participating in things such as mindfulness, meditation, you can do meditation as a family guided or unguided, even doing yoga so that you’re really tapping into those spaces and really getting that whole health and wellness, mentally, physically and spiritually. And finally I feel that you have to give yourself grace as well as giving each family member grace.

We are in uncertain times and it’s really anxiety provoking and sometimes, you’re not able to really be as productive as you would want to be typically or get certain projects done at this time. It’s okay to not be as or optimal in those spaces. I think that sometimes we feel overwhelmed when we’re anxious or when we’re depressed. We don’t feel like getting out of bed sometimes.

So really making sure that you’re taking care of yourself, really communicating how you feel with each other. Creating that space in which it is safe to communicate those feelings and giving yourself grace is really important.

And if you feel overwhelmed to a position to where you can’t process those things as a family, you’re welcome to call Thriveworks. We are here to help you through this journey of transition and hopefully work towards getting those feelings of normalcy back. Thank you so much for listening. Please be safe and be well.

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Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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