Like many of you, I have had a hard time dealing with the onslaught of tragic news this week, including Thursday’s mass shooting in Indiana. I hope you can find some time and space for self-care this weekend: sleep in a little bit, go for a walk, watch your favorite movie. Whatever you need.
I’ve been thinking about self-care a lot this week. After getting my second vaccine shot on Tuesday, I felt pretty tired and a bit out of it, which isn’t atypical. I took advantage of a wellness day my company has offered and took the day off to recover. I might have been able to muddle through work, not doing my best, but my mental and physical health improved because I paused, slept in, and focused on the signals my body was giving me. When I was tired, I napped. When I felt better enough to walk my dog, I stepped out into the sunshine. We can’t take a wellness day every week, but it was a good reminder to listen to my mind and body.
Today’s family feuding advice
The most cautious family members butted heads with the more risk-tolerant ones. Even for families who largely agreed on COVID restrictions this past year, the continued uncertainty of an increasingly vaccinated world has created challenges around returning to “normal.” When it comes to resuming life, not everyone is on the same timeline.
My colleague Alia Dastagir spoke with two psychologists about how families can repair relationships damaged by disagreements over COVID. These are their tips for moving forward:
- Determine if both people are willing to work on the relationship: “You have to sit the other person down and say, ‘OK, we’re not seeing eye to eye on this. Are you willing to talk about it and meet in the middle somewhere?’ That’s where that conversation starts,” said Melissa Boudin, clinical director for Choosing Therapy, an online therapy platform.
- Start from a place of empathy: “I mean it in the specific way of actively trying to understand where the person you’re speaking to is coming from,” Loren Soeiro, a psychologist in private practice in New York City, said. “Forgetting about trying to convince them, forgetting about the distance between them and yourself, and really making that active effort to understand why their views make sense for them.”
- Communicate clearly and set boundaries: It’s essential for people to clearly and non-judgmentally explain to the other person what is important to them, why it’s necessary, and how that person’s current behavior makes them feel.