We’ve been stuck at home for what seems to be an eternity.
Let’s be real. When this first began, it started as something fun and new. You were all home as a family. You were playing games, watching movies, maybe even doing some fun home renovations to pass the time.
But it’s been several weeks of this and you might be getting a bit of cabin fever. And all those loved ones that you were so happy to be around are starting to rub you the wrong way.
Don’t beat yourself up for feeling this way. It’s natural and it happens. I know you don’t really want to murder your spouse, but he or she might be getting on your nerves more than usual.
The easiest solution is to get out of the house, get away from each other for a bit. That whole “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is more true today than ever. But unfortunately, that isn’t available for many these days. So how do you keep your family together emotionally when you are forced to be together physically?
Here are some practical tips that I think can help:
Bring humor into your home.
Laughing can be such a release of negative feelings. Tell stupid jokes to each other. Watch a funny movie together. Play a game that makes everyone in the family laugh at one another. Create as many laughs as you can.
Talk about your feelings.
Tears can also be a solution. If you are feeling frustrated with your spouse or children, take time to sit down and honestly discuss it.
When you are at the dinner table, have a conversation around the question, “How are you doing today?” and assure everyone that there will not be any judgement. If people are feeling bad, embrace them and let them know they are not alone.
Extend grace generously.
During these stressful times, it is not unusual for someone to say or do something that could hurt you. It is in those moments you need to remember that your spouse loves you and forgive him or her for their words or actions. If you dole out grace generously, some day, when you need grace, it will be freely give to you.
Never forget the words found in Colossians 3:13 (NRSV):
Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Make these moments the best you can. Bring laughter, tears, and forgiveness into your family dynamic. Continually pray for one another and you will see your family come out on the other side of this pandemic stronger than before.
Let me know how your family is doing today. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.