How to Navigate Family Conflict During the COVID-19: Can Therapy Still Help?

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted families all over the world in so many ways.

Maybe you haven’t been able to see certain members of your family for weeks. Or perhaps you’ve been quarantined together for so long that tensions are running high. And even though some states are starting to reopen and people are adjusting to a “new normal,” family conflict is still an issue.

Whatever the case is for your family, in times of stress, conflicts can occur more frequently. Knowing how to navigate this conflict is important when it comes to the strength of your familial relationships.

Are you having trouble doing it on your own? Can therapy still help, despite the ongoing social distancing requirements?

Consider what you can do to navigate family conflict on your own and how therapy may be able to help.

Take Time for Yourself

Many family conflicts arise because people are staying in close quarters with each other. Even if your state has started to reopen, you may have been “stuck” with your family for the last several months under one roof.

While that may have been great as things started out, you probably quickly realized that you and your family members have different routines and different ways of doing things. People are creatures of habit. When you’re forced to change those habits, it can throw you off and cause you to feel uneasy. Additionally, when you’re constantly around each other, it can quickly become frustrating and cause conflict.

It’s important to find some time for yourself each day, even if you can’t completely escape and get away from everyone. Self-care is very important during times of uncertainty. You could take five minutes in the morning to meditate or be mindful. Or take a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood each day.

Finding just a few minutes of “me” time each day can make a big difference in how you feel about your family and any tension that may be lingering.

Don’t Focus Solely on the Negative

One of the reasons tensions may be running high between families right now is because of all of the uncertainty and stress in the world. Most people have never experienced something like this pandemic before.

It has had an enormous impact on so many families. Some have lost their jobs. Others have had to become teachers for their kids who haven’t been in school for months. And when you turn on the news, things look bleak and grim, and you can see the effects frayed nerves had on other areas of society.

While you shouldn’t ignore what’s happening in the world, it shouldn’t be the sole topic of conversation between you and your family. Tensions are already high. Talking about the state of things can cause more stress, more conflict, and more negative emotions.

Can Therapy Still Help?

To say these are uncertain times would be an understatement. If you find yourself constantly butting heads with your family or there have been several moments of conflict in the wake of this pandemic, that’s understandable. But, it doesn’t mean your relationship with your family has to be tarnished.

Many times, conflict arises because people are not communicating effectively. Maybe you have too much stress to adequately express yourself. Or perhaps you don’t fully understand other communication styles within your family. Whatever the case, being able to share the issues that are bothering you and learning how to communicate properly is a great way to navigate family conflict and form an even stronger bond.

Even with social distancing making in-office sessions impossible, family therapy can still help you to get to the underlying causes of your conflicts. How? Through online therapy and virtual sessions. These can be just as effective as in-person therapy to teach you how to communicate with each other so that everyone feels heard and understood, even in times of stress.

If you’re interested in learning more about family therapy or how it might help your situation, feel free to contact me. I am currently offering virtual sessions to my clients. Together, we can work on understanding the root of your family conflict, and go over the strategies needed to work through it.

All images are used for illustrative purposes only. Any person shown is used as a model only.