- 15 November, 2022
One can clearly feel when the person you love is affected by stress.
Some want their partners to roll up their sleeves and dive into a problem-solving mode when they’re stressed. Others dream that their partners will listen and remain empathetic while they empty their head for thoughts.
Regardless of your partner’s preferred comfort, there are several measures you can try to help your partner. When people feel overwhelmed by stress, it is not always that they are able to state their needs.
Being affected by stress is not optimal for anyone, and it is especially hard for the loved ones around them. If you are not careful, it can also affect your relationship in the long term.
So what can you do to support them during a difficult time? Here is some of the following advice;
Be available to them
Most people have different levels of emotional availability, and they don’t always match. When you are dealing with a partner who is stressed, their emotional needs may actually be quite a bit greater.
They may not be able to express this need for a number of reasons. They may be limited by their own unstable state of mind. Many of the signals for need and availability are also not necessarily obvious or easy to communicate.
By being able to pay attention to the small signs of your partner, you can try to negotiate an agreement about how you can both can feel met.
Have control of the environment
When your partner suffers from stress, the day-to-day handling of everyday life can often be problematic. This can actually be one of the last things that a stressed person has the energy for. This is a responsability that you may be able to relieve for a period of time.
It can be small things that can help your partner feel more in control of their life. Some of these initiatives could e.g. having a full fridge, making sure that there are clean surroundings, and that they do not have too many domestic responsibilities.
Having a clean and minimal environment can have a positive effect on your partner. This move may take some of your time, but it’s worth a try to take some responsibility on this front. At least for a period of time.
Ask how you can support them
There are next to none of us that are mind readers. Having a partner who is stressed takes both time and energy. There is often a lot of shame associated with being affected by stress, as it can be interpreted as a weakness.
Therefore, it is crucial that you show intrest and empathy to what your partner tells you. You can sympathize, but don’t compare your stress to theirs. If they pick up a conversation at an inopportune time, offer to follow up on the conversation later.
The most important thing is that you always leave the door open for further conversation.
In order to provide the extra love and care that your partner needs, it is essential that you can also maintain your own self-care practice.
In order for your partner to benefit from your attention, it is important that you prioritize yourself from time to time. This precisely helps to maintain your energy that they need in this situation.
Focus on your values, strengths, and the things that bring you joy in your life. This can help reset your system when you’ve been running on a high. This way you can find out what helps your partner, and then be creative to solve your current problems together.
Seek outside help
Being affected by stress is not something that you can necessarily predict. It is a condition that can affect us all. Many of us have been socialized to handle our own problems, and it may be that your partner is of the same belief.
Sometimes things like these can be some of the hardest things to say to their partners. They don’t want to worry you or draw attention to the fact that they are having a hard time.
Regardless of which end of the scale they are at, you also help to assess how much you can do for them and where your abilities may fall short. Being able to know one’s own limitations is not least a strength in itself.
So if your partner’s symptoms start to manifest physically, or their mental state worsens over time, then as a partner you can consider supporting them by referring them to a doctor or psychologist.
Listen to them
Being a good listener is noting less than an art. Nevertheless, listening to your partner is probably one of the most important piece of advice of all.
When your partner is stressed, they may have difficulty with things that may feel elementary to you. This means that you may have to read between the lines at times and help them put into words what is happening to them.
It is likely that your partner needs space to resolve their own issues. You don’t have to be a problem solver for them, because sometimes your partner just needs to feel heard.
Creating a space for them where they can talk about what is happening to them, can have a big effect on their stress levels.
Set your own bounderies for yourself
The effect that stress can have on the human brain should not be underestimated. Stress symptoms can have a huge impact on your partner’s mood, and it can eventually affect you. Anger, frustration, sadness, irritation, and hopelessness are just some of the emotions that may come into play.
Although you want to do everything you can to ensure that they are going to thrive, your self-respect should also a priority. If you feel that your partner’s stress is beginning to rub off on you in an inappropriate way, it is also important to speak up about this.
In summary, it can be said that there are many options in connection with alleviating your partner’s stress. How you approach the problem is up to you, but by starting with some advice, you are already well on your way.