Home Archive Prev Next

How to Handle these Changes in Your Life

Torn-down noticesWe’ve spent the last month writing about staying at home during this pandemic and how that has affected relationships of all sorts. How could we write about anything else? It seems like the only thing people are talking about these days. This is a globally shared experience and one that has already changed all of our lives, probably more permanently than we can yet realize.

Phil was stacking dishes and reflecting on how kitchen activities aren’t a problem for us. Whether it is stacking dishes, washing them or preparing a meal, we each do it as necessary. We don’t have roles in the kitchen. There is no sense of trying to get away with doing less. It comes from the way that we work as a unit, and it is the same in every part of our shared lives. Maybe this is because we both have a strong sense of fairness.

Because we don’t have stress points like this, we are coping well with staying at home. After two months of lockdown together, the same aspects that we have written and taught about still seem to apply. We are sharing a peaceful, conflict-free relationship. We do not relate from a sense of competition, but rather from one of cooperation. We are still not experiencing any ‘me versus you’ behavior. We find ourselves acting as a pair and working with the challenges by seeking mutual solutions to the changes this situation has wrought.

And that is the most important aspect of life and relationships in the year of the virus. Change.

It is looking likely that social distancing will be the case for a long time, and life afterward may be much altered, too. In order to survive and thrive psychologically and psychically, it will be necessary to do something that many of us find really hard and sometimes scary – live with change, accept change, be open to change and new possibilities.

As different areas of our community lives open up and some restrictions are lifted (with many caveats), we will return to a life and people who have changed, and we will need to adjust to a different landscape. Many of the basic areas of our lives will have to alter. We will be changing how we do many things: education, economics, the sharing of scientific understandings, how we get together and how we share with each other, what the jobs and services are that are really critical to all of us, how we are responsible to each other and the planet.

The challenge is to let go of the mindset that the present state is a nightmare that will someday end (and the sooner the better.) In order to flow with these changes and benefit from the opportunities they provide, we will all need to some degree or another to learn to practice presence, to be in the moment with what is without wishing or trying to manipulate what is into some remembered idea of how it was, or how it should be.

This may be unexpectedly easier than it used to be. Embrace it. Be present with it. Look at what exists, not what is missing. Find the new joys that this situation brings. We have all had our usual way of doing things disrupted. We are all kicked more into the present as pretty much every area of our lives is in constant flux.

We stand before a great challenge and a great opportunity. We have a true opening to treasure and be aware going forward of how important we all are to each other. We are learning to extend our caring beyond ourselves to each other and to our greater community.

Start now. Reach out to each other. Check on each other. Let people know that you care about them. Share a giggle and a heartwarming story, share a virtual shoulder, be creative with and for each other. Stretch!

Photo credit: Phil Mayes

We would love to hear your questions and feedback. Click here and leave them on the blog directly.
 Headphone iconClick here to listen to Phil reading this blog.

Successful Relationship Reading Corner

BookshelfThis week in our blog, we discussed how to handle changes in your life and relationships arising from the coronavirus. We found some good views on this, each one from a different perspective.

Our post-pandemic selves: why the virus is an opportunity to grow and develop "Without downplaying the tragedies of the current pandemic, Smith...observes 'there is liberation in this suspension of more or less everything. Any fashion, sensibility, ideology, set of priorities, worldview or hobby that you acquired prior to March 2020, and that may have by then started to seem to you cumbersome, dull, inauthentic, a drag: you are no longer beholden to it,' he writes. 'You can cast it off entirely and no one will care; likely, no one will notice.'"

How will coronavirus change the world? "There are a number of possible futures, all dependent on how governments and society respond to coronavirus and its economic aftermath. Hopefully we will use this crisis to rebuild, produce something better and more humane. But we may slide into something worse. I think we can understand our situation – and what might lie in our future – by looking at other crises."

Stress and Coping "The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger."


Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
Read our blogs at PhilAndMaude.
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
Email us at philandmaude@philandmaude.com
If you are interested in newsletters you've missed, see our archive.
Do you know anyone who would enjoy this newsletter? Tell them to sign up at http://philandmaude.com/howtwo/.