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By now, some families have been together at home for a good number of weeks during the current partial lockdown. While to an extent, some may have started to adjust to some of the changes that they were required to make and how to cope with these, others may have come more in touch with the things they are missing over time. The following tips are written with the intent to continue supporting families during partial lockdown now that a good number of weeks have passed.

  1. Be aware of how the other members in your family are experiencing this situation

We may sometimes be tempted to assume that others are experiencing things the same way as we are, or to perhaps feel that we know our family members so well that we can assume how they are feeling about something. While we may sometimes be right, at other times we may be missing out on learning what our loved ones’ experience is, and potentially also what they need from us. It might be supportive to check in with each other every so often, as a way to care for the people you are living with, and because your individual experiences might be impacting how you are relating with one another. For instance, if someone in your family is starting to feel restless with not going out of the home, this restlessness might be experienced in your interactions.

2. Keep in contact with people apart from those you live with

While at present we may not do so face to face, try to maintain contact via message, phone, or perhaps video calls with significant others who you are currently not living with. It is important to continue investing in your relationships with people that you feel close to even during this period. These relationships may be very important sources of support for you, and potentially, when you feel more supported, the way you interact with the people you are living with might be more pleasant.

3. Continue working actively to give each other space

Giving each other space while in partial lockdown is a common struggle that a number of families that I come in contact with are experiencing. For many, our homes have become the places where we work, rest, have fun, learn, and so on; and this in itself can create a sense of confusion. Let alone the fact that for many, our homes are also the same place where our partners work and where our children are spending their full days. Having designated areas for specific tasks has been found to be supportive by some families. However, it is also important to, whenever possible, continue working actively to also give each other the space (not only in a physical sense, but also the time) to do the things they enjoy doing individually.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specializes in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.