How Does Confinement Affect Families And Couples?

Family confinement

The current confinement situation seems to be coming to an end, but… what protocols and psychological hygiene measures should families follow in these turbulent times?

Confinement and families: how to manage negative emotions?

The professionals at the Atenea center in Palma de Mallorca help us shed light on this issue.

1. How do you think confinement may be affecting families?

We are experiencing a situation unknown to most of us, new measures, a different situation, many unanswered questions, uncertainty… All of this affects our emotional, psychological and mental stability.

In the same day we go through many different emotions: frustration, anger, confusion, sadness, insecurity, fear, anguish, joy, hope, love… all of them lead us to express ourselves incorrectly or desperately with those around us.

It is important to assume that confinement affects us on a personal level. All the members that make up the family nucleus feel that uncontrolled mix of emotions.

We should not be afraid if we have arguments or misunderstandings, with our partner, parents or children, on topics that have never caused us confrontations, it is normal. Within this peculiar situation that we are experiencing, feelings intensify more, needs come to light, we are less receptive and more susceptible.

2. In the context of a couple relationship without children, what do you think are the psychological and relational hygiene measures that should guide these days of quarantine?

There are different couple profiles, depending on the routine they are used to:

  1. Couples used to working together and spending many hours with each other. The current scenario has hardly changed for them. This couple profile is used to managing that time together, the individual getaways that they could do before (meals with friends, walks on the beach, shopping…) can be replaced by doing individual activities that relax them and relieve them of daily tension. (relaxing baths, video calls with friends, reading that book you never find time for…)

  2. Couples who work all day outside the home and meet for dinner. The scenario they are currently experiencing is totally changed. If you are within this couple profile, it is important to increase communication based on feelings, that is, express how we feel to avoid conflicts caused by misunderstandings. We must take advantage of this moment to get to know ourselves better and enjoy our moments as a couple more. Prepare trips

  3. Couples who could share moments throughout the day depending on the intensity of work (having breakfast together, lunch or dinner).

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Whatever the couple’s profile, finding individual moments to disconnect and relax, talk more, communicate emotions and feelings and project future plans, are the advice that at Atenea we give to couples in these disparate moments that we are experiencing.

3. How to develop a grieving process when it is not possible to hold family gatherings in which to say goodbye to your loved one?

This point is, without a doubt, the most difficult and hardest that a human being must experience.

There is no formula that will prevent the pain and suffering of losing a loved one in unusual or sudden circumstances. We can only anticipate, speak from the heart with our family member, tell them that they are important to us, that we love them very much and that we need them.

It is important to be able to contact our family members and share with them the pain we feel.

Expressing and sharing are the bases to be able to better cope with these hard and difficult moments.

4. From Atenea, what resources or tools are you providing to your patients to meet their needs, whether they are linked to covid-19 or not?

From Atenea, we have contact with each of our patients. We offer you the resources and tools that adapt to each of your needs and demands. We offer Skype sessions, phone calls, messages…

Today more than ever, we must learn from this situation. To give more to those we want, to slow down. To know how to say enough, to fight against injustice, to value the little things that fulfill us, to love ourselves, to ask for forgiveness and to forgive.

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We’ll get through this! But if we don’t learn anything, all our suffering and effort will have been for nothing.