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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

Covid-19 Stress Management, Negotiation and Relationships with Others


The Truth Smack Down

This is tough. We have been cooped up with a lot of uncertainty for a long time. How is your irritation level? Being worn down can highlight unhelpful patterns and frustration. Here are a few ideas to keep going with your cool, calm and connection.

Unveiling Discovery in Relationships

Covid is revealing the good, the bad, and the ugly. You might think, “What more is there to discover when we’re all under the same roof?” One way to shake up this mindset is to imagine that you have not finished the unveiling discovery. If individually we are always growing and changing, then isn’t it logical that the relationships we are in will continue to grow and change? What is waiting to be unveiled in ourselves and others?

Even if you feel stuck, you are still moving and growing. Look for what is beyond the stuck. How close are you to stepping firmly into a decision or action? Change is made visible with what we think, say and do. What do you want to choose? Look inward and wonder, “What is about to be revealed in myself?” “What is unfolding in the relationships around me?”

“You don't realize - the great thing about change is how quickly we get used to it. So I'm not complaining. The more things change, the more they don't stay the same. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. They might not change everywhere all at once - but there are moments when the impossible becomes the inevitable, and the rest is just a matter of time.” ― David Levithan, Wide Awake

No One Can Make Us Feel Anything

“I’m so frustrated.” “I can’t stand that.” “They make me so angry!” Believe it or not, no one can make us feel anything. We react to situations around us from the emotion we hold within ourselves. Wayne Dyer likened it to an orange being squeezed. What comes out? Orange juice. Why? Because that is what it in it. When I get squeezed by stress or negativity, I could respond with venom, frustration, or temper. Or, I could equally choose to respond with radical acts of love, kindness or compassion. When under pressure, I am revolutionary presence of peace and well-being. This is the mindset that NO MATTER WHAT, I will draw from the well of my values not from my vices. No matter what, I choose to be kind. (I am a work in progress)

“Dig within. Within is the wellspring of Good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Whatever is held is going to come out with equal force in all directions

What we put into the space around us will radiate out with the same quality and energy. Goodness, kindness, love, and virtue diffusing around us can be what we choose to put into the mix of relationships. The only certain elements we have control over are what we put out into our relationships. This is both how we respond to ourselves and how we respond to others. Watch the inner dialog and wonder, “Is this what I want radiating out of me?” We can be so heartless and critical of ourselves. Squeeze that, and we drip this harshness upon others. That is why it is so important to begin with ourselves and our own self talk. “I’m a wonderful work in progress. This journey is about appreciating the steps I take, not the destination.”

The Art of Negotiation

There are 7 steps of negotiating with anyone. Understand these steps for less frustration of the natural process. Check in with your steps to see if you are skipping any. I can have impatience with the time it takes to do this well. My error is to skip steps or assume the response.

“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won’t come in.” ― Alan Alda: Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

Here’s a power washing tune up on negotiation:

  1. Recognize my needs and get clear on them

  2. Write them down

  3. Express them to other people

  4. Physically hear it

  5. Process it, think, or feel what is said

  6. Craft a response and say it

  7. Return to 4.

We bring complexity in relationships because we all want and value different things. Using these seven steps can be a guideline on how to deal with each other. I can better put positivity and love in the relationship when I can regularly express what I need and want. Then, growing appreciation, gratitude is increased. I can notice kindness, generosity, and goodness in the space between my relationships.

Greater hope and love amount to more positive thoughts, words and actions.

The science behind this is: when we observe caring and gratitude, we experience caring and gratitude. That is how we grow what we want to receive. Put in what you want to get out. Observe the things you seek in the smallest of gestures. Have gratitude in every treasure great and small.

Infuse Joy

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ―Henri Nouwen

Lightness, fun, joy and love are powerful tools we can bring into our relationships. Focus on what you want to grow. Look for opportunities to laugh and lighten up. There are enough difficult elements in the world. Allow ease with those around you by infusing time with joy.



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