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Mind Matters | Strained relationships

Mind Matters | Strained relationships

I’m 36 years old and I want to reconnect with my family. It’s been tough. Despite my efforts, it feels like they don’t appreciate me or understand what I’m going through. The lack of support leaves me feeling isolated and unappreciated, which makes it hard to be motivated at work. My job has been demanding with deadlines piling up and increasing expectations. I find it hard to concentrate when my mind is constantly worried about my family and the strained relationship among us. Balancing the demands of my career with the desire to reconnect with my loved ones feels like an impossible task. It’s taking a toll on my mental and emotional well-being. What can I do?

Answered by Shravasti Tuladhar, Psychosocial counselor

The desire to reconnect with your family while feeling a lack of support and understanding is a heavy weight to carry. Naturally, this is impacting your work and overall well-being. Family is often the cornerstone of our support system, and their absence can be isolating. We are social creatures, and strong social connections are vital for our well-being. When those relationships feel unstable, it can be difficult to focus on other areas of life, like work. But the fact that you’ve reached out for help shows immense strength.

You’ve identified the issue and are taking steps to address it, and that’s something to be proud of. There seem to be two major challenges in your life. The lack of connection with your family is causing emotional strain and making it difficult to find motivation at work. The demanding work environment and your worries about your family are creating a stressful imbalance.

First, consider what you truly need and expect from your family. What kind of relationship would feel most supportive to you? Are there specific actions you would like from them? Open communication can be key. Try to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your family. Share how you’re feeling about the lack of connection and what it means to you. Listen to their perspective as well, and try to understand their needs and feelings. Remember that rebuilding trust takes time and effort. Start with small gestures and activities to strengthen the bond, and be patient with the progress.

Setting boundaries at work can help. Prioritize tasks and learn to politely decline taking on more than you can handle. Freeing up mental space will allow you to focus on your family matters. Self-care is also essential. Taking care of yourself will give you the strength to deal with other challenges. Find activities that nourish you, whether it’s exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature.

Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Lean on any support system you already have (friends, colleagues) while you reconnect with your family. Change takes time and effort. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if the situation feels overwhelming or you need additional guidance. A therapist can help you develop communication skills, manage stress, and navigate complex family dynamics.