Should we be worried about the lockdown affecting our closest relationships?
Definitely, both for better and worse. Sadly divorce statistics are up – not because of COVID but where relationships were struggling COVID exacerbates the toxic proximity. Lockdown locks out private lives which under normal circumstances can co-exist as a secret parallel universe. Such private lives can range from harmless but humiliating fetishes to private lives/affairs/gender diversity secrets in the closet. Guilty parties feel they are under 24/7 scrutiny. Many instances during Lockdown of people not being able to carry their secret and confessing. (thus divorce rates increase.) At the same time where the relationship is positive partners are enjoying being together whereby every day can feel a bit more like a weekend: co-parenting more, if privileged to have a second home enjoying it in a more leisurely way and enjoying long walks or hikes with kids and pets. Less workplace stress, less leisure choice, can lead to more time to privilege sex. In every case economic security versus economic hardship will be of relevance. My colleague, the psychiatrist Dr James Arkell recommends to his patients that during Lockdown they try to dress up and sit down to dinner once a week, even if the other nights its supper on a tray. Just as important for people living in solitary lockdown confinement to have a Zoom dinner date. Equally important he says is the simple factor like trying to get outside for a breath of air at least once every day. And don’t on any account forget one essential supplement Vit D.
Jane Haynes is interviewed on medical online publication The Hippocratic Post. You can read the full piece here. In the Consulting Zoom: A Psychotherapist's Journal of Lockdown is available from Amazon here.