Stress plays a big role in our life. It has become such a normal part of our lives that we don’t always recognize the symptoms and warning signs. Stress impacts our loving relationship more than we realize. It can make or break a loving relationship.
Acute stress can improve your relationship, if partner’s encouragement is the kind that works for the stressed one. To celebrate the Stress Awareness Day on Monday April 16th, we are introducing here 12 steps on how to be a supporting and loving partner when your partner is stressed out. For more inspiration, check also Relationship Games special missions how to relax in this fast paced world.
1. To deal with a problem, you have to realize there’s a problem
If your partner is working long hours and being overly emotional and overreacting or too cold and distant, it can be because of stress. Does your partner have problems with sleeping? Eating too much or too little? Abusing medicines or alcohol? Too grumpy or quiet? Sometimes, it can be just a bad day, but if it goes on for a longer time, it is time investigate a little.
2. Bring it up – Nicely
Once you see there is something wrong, ask your partner about it and be interested. When you ask if there is something wrong, that alone will communicate your interest and care and provide a certain comfort.
3. Listen and comfort first
Being a good listener is not always easy, but experience, care for each other and knowing your partner is a good place to start. Encourage your partner to open up and share with you what seems to be the problem. Give them enough time to form and speak out everything that is on their mind. The last thing your partner wants to hear at this point is criticism or suggestions and ideas what to do. Just be there for them with all your attention first. There’s time for the rest later on.
4. Ask if you can help
Once you know what the problem is and how is your partner feeling about it, offer your help, ask if you can do anything. It is already the thought that counts to show you care for your partner. If your partner has some ideas what you could do for them to smooth up the day, go for it. If your partner isn’t quite sure if there’s anything you can do, just do something that seems like a good idea to improve their day at least a little. After your partner’s important meeting, you could support them by showing an interest how the meeting went. Only the sky is the limit of showing ways to support your partner.
5. Reduce the stress – Ease up on the daily duties
Unless your partner is one of those people who use manual tasks and household chores as a way to relax from a day of intellectually challenging work, you might want to take some of these duties off of their list for a while. Let them enjoy a book, a movie or anything else they might prefer instead.
6. Reduce the stress – Do something they really like
Favorite food seems to be the first, the easiest and the most effective thing to do for them. So before you take them out and start encouraging them to exercise and be active, allow them to “switch off” for a while and cheer them up with something good.
7. Don’t take it personally
Although you might get exposed to a lot of negative energy, and you have to deal with bad mood and eventually absorb some of it, it is not you causing the problem. Try to avoid reacting in such way; it prevents conflicts and makes the situation easier for you to deal with.
8. Encourage them to take a break
Do something! And do it together. Exercise, take a bath, read a book to each other, work in the garden, go out, find things that will ease up the stress and bring you two closer together. If you yourself don’t have the time or you think your partner could use some time without you, try to convince them it is important for them to take a break, even if only for a few hours. Encourage them to meet their friends and go to the movies or dancing or whatever they enjoy.
9. Don’t forget about sex
If your partner likes sex and the stressful situation has no effect on it, go ahead. After all, sex is a great stress reliever. However, if the issue your partner is dealing with can somehow affect your intimacy or it might come across as another duty at home to do, it might be wiser to leave it out and prevent adding some necessary stress about a whole new issue. Also, when under stress, your partner is less likely to make the initiative, so you might have to be more determined than usual.
10. Be understanding
This is certainly not the time to complain about the toilet seat or who left the lights in the hall on. Let the little things go as there are obviously more important things at stake. Try to make things easier and more comfortable for your partner, not making it more difficult. It will be appreciated.
11. Command your partner to take some time off
When stressed, we lose sight of what is important and our productivity usually drops radically. Just one day or weekend doing something completely different can help alleviate the situation. But your partner might get very stressed about taking time off. It can help, if you practically force your partner to have little time off.
12. Anything else?
Can you do more? If you can think of something, do it. And if you think others might use the tip, leave us a comment with your ideas and suggestions.
Alisa, Relationship Games
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