Social Distance Stress: how to handle family, relationships

Posted at 6:17 PM, Mar 18, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — Kids are out of school, a lot of businesses are closed for seating, and just about everyone is working from home. All of these things together can be the recipe for stress at home with kids and spouses.

"The key factor I think, the question of how to stay calm," said Steve Leavitt, Clinical Director for Rock Your Family Counseling, a faith based counseling service in Colorado Springs, "you have to at some point accept the truth of the situation."

Andrea Ochs, a parent in Colorado Springs who is working from home right now says there have been some challenges.

"I sure do have a new appreciation for our teachers because they do so much for our kids," said Ochs, "it's been a little much but we're making it work."

Ochs, one of many families enjoying the sunshine on Wednesday, with a lunch break in the park- getting outside is just one of the suggests counselors suggest.

Leavitt says with COVID-19 many people are getting stressed out by not understanding the truth of the situation. Leavitt says beyond getting outside calling, emailing, and checking in on others are some other options for relieving stress.

"The key factor in my opinion to not go stir-crazy at home is to serve- find ways to give rather than, in times of crisis people turn inward," said Leavitt.

Max Ziegenhagan MA, LMFT with North Family Counseling says it's important to also set expectations during these challenging times.

"Stress is really that we're engaging in a way that is at or beyond our capacity," said Ziegenhagan, who suggests going into another room or giving people space in the home if conflict arises,"so if we know that we will have to deal with some of that stress but that we can also have our own separate space or at least an opportunity within the home to either be alone, have a breather or a moment, in a way that's conducive for everybody makes the most sense"

Ziegenhagan says it's also important to recognize the challenges and the hard times, by acknowledging this is tough time- it can make setting expectations a little easier.