Catarina Peixoto | April 16, 2020

Families in quarantine: how to solve conflicts

Conflicts are not necessarily bad or negative. They can also be positive if we use them as coping mechanisms for challenging moments and relationships with the people around us.

Everything in our routine is new, and we have to accept this demanding reality. Families in isolation had to adjust and find a balance between work and family moments.

It’s normal to feel anxious and overwhelmed. It’s also normal if you feel frustrated and more irritable than usual, especially with the ones that are closer to you — your family, which could lead to conflicts. Isolation has a significant impact on ourselves and our relationships, and everyone is trying to figure out what works best for them.

Keep in mind that everyone is experiencing struggles on their own.

Try to understand what others are feeling. We all have different ways of living situations, so it is crucial to put ourselves in other’s shoes. If we show availability to understand their feelings and experience, they will be more open as well, and the conflict will have more positive effects than if we decide to make judgments or start with accusations. That will only increase the problem.

Be available to talk and solve conflicts. Share and explain what you feel, whether it’s good or bad. This will help encourage others to share their emotions and concerns as well.

Behaviour causes behaviour. Humans act by imitation, it’s in our nature. We are influenced by others, whether in a positive or negative way. Kids are especially drawn to this behaviour because everything they learn about the world is mostly from what they watch adults doing. What you say or do will have an impact on others, so be aware of the role it plays on the family environment and stay mindful of your own behaviour.

Create and keep a routine that will help to keep a sense of “normality” and control of things. Try to work on a daily or weekly schedule where everyone takes part and define their activities and responsibilities. Don’t forget to add family moments, leisure and individual time.

Have moments for yourself. It can be truly overwhelming to be always in the same physical space as the rest of the family, so it is important to have moments for yourself, where you can be alone with your thoughts and restore your energy.

Move your body. Physical exercise helps you to stay healthy, both physically and psychologically, and relieve tension.

Most importantly, look at this situation as temporary and try to deal with the anxiety in the best way possible, sharing your thoughts with your family and friends. Take this moment to be more connected with your loved ones.

Stay calm and positive, and remember that nothing lasts forever.