Deena Chochinov, MEd, RCC, FEA
Consultant, Coach and Counsellor,
Question: What suggestions do you have for families on managing stress and maintaining a healthy family dynamic in this “new reality”?
DEENA: I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of nurturance and how its practice is paramount for families – in all times – but especially now in this COVID calamity. So my suggestion for families is to build deeper and more resilient relationships as you nurture each other through these times of transition and even crisis.
There are many definitions of resilience, but my favorite is the capacity to absorb high levels of continuous change while displaying minimal dysfunctional behaviour. Let’s face it, everyone is showing signs of vulnerability, anxiety, impatience, fear and grief as we grapple with the uncertainty of pandemic life, and that can mean we’re not always as highly-functional and emotionally sensitive as we’d like to be in how we treat our family members. Focus on the simple: listen to each other with an open heart, practice empathy-in-action (aka compassion), extend the benefit of the doubt when you or someone you love makes a mistake, don’t take everything so personally, and allow yourself to feel sincere gratitude for the nurturance you receive from your family and your capacity to offer it right back!