How much togetherness is too much during quarantine? Tips from a marriage counselor

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic can be tough on couples and families who aren’t used to spending so much of their lives together. WWAY spoke to a local therapist to get some tips to help.

Dr. Erika Geisler is a psychologist specializing in marriage and family therapy. She says being in quarantine with your significant other or your family can be stressful.

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“There’s a lot of fear, anxiety and depression,” Geisler said. “People are feeling really isolated. We’re not used to spending so much time with our families, even if we love them. And a lot of people are really just struggling in general.”

Geisler says if you’re having issues at home, one way to help is by keeping a routine.

“We’re used to having time where get up the same time every morning and we head off to work and we drop the kids off and then we all do activities and we get together in the evening,” she said. “So I think it’s so important that even though there’s no structure, to really work to create that structure now and routine.”

She also says it’s important to take time for yourself to regroup and refresh.

“We need to have time where we’re spending time away from our partners,” Geisler said. “So maybe going into rooms and having quiet time or going out on a walk.”

Geisler says if you feel a fight coming on with your significant other or family member, take a step back.

“We’re all under a lot of stress, so I think we need to give each other grace in this time,” she said.

At the end of the day, Geisler says we should try to focus on the positives and not waste this time.

“This is also kind of a gift,” she said. “There’s a lot of bad things that are going on right now, but we don’t get this time with our families normally we’re so busy.”

If you’re having any issues with your family or spouse, Dr. Geisler and other therapists do offer teleconferencing therapy.