The pandemic and the restrictions that came with it deeply affected our day-to-day living and our relationships with our loved ones. The fact that we could not physically spend time as we usually do with our families, friends, and for some, even their partners, has inevitably caused a strain in these relationships.
The good news is that restrictions are starting to ease up for most countries, and people are going out much more freely. The downside? It’s not as easy going about as though we didn’t lose about two years’ worth of physical quality time. Don’t worry, though, because as overwhelming as it may seem, there are ways that we can reconnect with our loved ones and nurture our relationship with them once again.
Should you find yourself in a gathering with your loved ones, do make sure that you’re not just physically present but also emotionally and mentally. This means that your full attention is on them. You’re not daydreaming about work, being someplace else, or worse, just tapping away on your phone; being present means fully engaging in conversations and listening attentively. It also means contributing your fair share of stories, opinions, and what you have. Being actively present in the presence of others can make it seem as though you never spent any time apart at all.
If the pandemic has caused your loved ones distress, it’s essential to come in with empathy and understanding. Not everyone copes the same way, and many people found it hard to find stability with their mental and emotional bandwidth at the height of the pandemic. If your loved one is still somewhat distressed, you can make them feel that you’re giving them a safe space where they’re not judged, rushed, or forced to do or feel anything other than what they’re feeling in the moment.
Don’t know how to start reconnecting? You can do so by doing a shared activity! It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose. For example, you can start small by asking them out on a coffee date if you both love drinking coffee. It can also be a games night where you take out those dusting board games you have in the cabinet. Finding common ground can put everyone at ease almost instantly, and you’ll feel more confident in moving forward with reconnecting with your loved ones on a deeper level.
Sometimes, what you need to move forward is to start anew. Think of this time as an opportunity to create new memories and start new traditions with your families, friends, partners, and colleagues. Grieve if you must that you lost time, but it’s important to now focus on how you can move forward together positively. This may mean dropping the old football game party and starting a new tradition like a fun, outdoor BBQ gathering every Sunday. Whatever it may be, make sure that everyone feels involved and genuinely welcomed.
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