97°F
weather icon Clear

Little love, luck help us through quarantine

I hope you are among the lucky ones who are quarantined at home with someone you love. I can’t imagine the feelings of loneliness that would come with being truly self-isolated.

Still, spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week for weeks on end — and with no real end in sight — may not be easy for all couples, no matter how much they love each other.

Usually, there is some type of respite — a shopping trip, visit to the gym, outing with friends or even going to work. In today’s environment, however, we are working at home, finding creative ways to exercise and doing a lot of online shopping.

Add a child or two to the mix and life gets infinitely more complicated. Not only are they not physically going to school, you have likely assumed the role of teacher or tutor. That’s definitely not an easy task.

Plus, kids need something to do in those nonschool hours. They can’t go play with their friends or practice with teammates for an upcoming competition. There’s only so much TV they can watch or video games they can play before they long for something else to do.

I’m sure they don’t want to occupy their time with boring household chores or cleaning their rooms, although that would probably make their moms and dads happy. I know that was something I was always reminding my girls about when they were younger.

This period of staying at home is trickier for divorced parents who share custody or visitation of their children. Obviously, the kids can’t be spending the time they need or are required to spend with the other parent at the moment.

All this is creating a situation where people are experiencing a higher than normal level of anxiety, according to a recent survey by the University of Phoenix. Among the survey respondents, 41 percent said they are anxious and 68 percent said they feel as if everything in their lives is out of their control.

Dean Aslinia, chairman of the counseling department at the University of Phoenix, said there are three natural physiological responses to anxiety: fight, flight or freeze. None of these reactions are ideal for keeping harmony at home.

So, what should we do?

Aslinia and Katherine Hertlein, a couple and family therapy program professor at UNLV, have some suggestions. Key among them is communication. Let each other know what you are feeling and thinking and be mindful of what you say. If a situation gets heated, Hertlein suggests taking a break of at least 20 minutes, but preferably 45, before resuming the conversation. Words hurled at another person in the heat of the moment can hurt as much as physical wounds, and often take longer to heal from.

“Take the 45-minute break before you think you need it. By the time you think you need it, it’s probably too late,” she said.

Aslinia said texting each other also works.

“If you anxiety level is so elevated you would be yelling at each other, text instead.”

Our communication doesn’t always have to be verbal either. Sitting close to each other, holding hands and smiling send big messages without uttering a word, Hertlein added.

She said we need to acknowledge that we are confined to our homes and give each other time to grieve for the things we have lost.

Hertlein and Aslinia say it is important that we work on ways to reduce anxiety in our lives and take control of the things that we can control.

“Because you’re operating from this hunched, tense place, you need to bring that anxiety down so that you can have productive interactions,” she said.

Suggestions include having a regular routine, getting some exercise, sleeping enough, eating healthy foods and regulating the amount of information you see regarding the coronavirus.

Aslinia added that parents have to make sure that they don’t let their anxiety spill over into their children’s lives. He said children may not have the necessary skills to find ways to cope with the situation and look to their parents to provide that “sense of safety, security and comfort.”

“Learn to breathe a little,” he said. “Some breathing, mindfulness and meditation go a long way to reducing anxiety.

“If something good can come from this pandemic, we can hopefully recognize the need for intentional behaviors that maintain and improve our mental health,” he added.

And if we can do that, then luck may be on all our sides.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Inflation fueled by rising oil costs

What do the rising price of meat products, dairy products, vegetables, cereal and nearly everything in the hardware store, including lumber, have in common? Oil. A barrel of oil is refined into diesel, gasoline, jet fuel and aviation gas. It is utilized in manufacturing plastics, synthetic materials, asphalt, lubricants, roofing, trash bags and the list goes on. Therefore, when the cost of a barrel of oil increases, the cost of goods increases through the manufacturing or the delivery of these products.

Pipeline might save drought-ridden West

I was first introduced to Lake Mead in the summer of 1968 when my father took a job in Henderson, moving us from Long Beach, California. His boss took us to the boat ramp of the Las Vegas Wash, about 10 miles from Henderson. I spent my freshman and sophomore years at Basic High School, which is now Burkholder Middle School.

Call issued for common-sense gun laws

I had a very different column planned for this month, something light, about summer activities. Then on the day of this writing, May 24, 2022, a young man in Uvalde, Texas, took the lives of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. My other piece went completely out the window because I knew I needed to write about this. I am the mother of two young children, and I am terrified.

River compact needs re-evaluation

We live in Boulder City, the city that built Hoover Dam. The Boulder Canyon Project Act was the legislation creating Boulder City as well as Boulder Dam. It is located in Black Canyon adjacent to Boulder City, Nevada. The dam is now called Hoover Dam. Life is like that, isn’t it? We have our desires along with reality, don’t we?

Waste not, want not

In July 2017, Boulder City received some really great news that I wanted to share. The Southern Nevada Health District had just approved our latest landfill expansion, the second one that I helped to obtain while serving on SNHD’s board.

It’s voting time

Nevada’s 2022 primary election day is just more than two weeks away, but voting has begun. Early voting started Saturday, and mail ballots were sent May 25 to every Nevada active registered voter.

Cheers to Johnny

My bio references “another lifetime” and being a working comedian. Today I feel moved to share with you the inspiration behind working stand-up and an important anniversary just passed.

Goodbye never easy to say

Goodbyes are hard.