Providing therapy remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve witnessed the impact of months of social distancing and self-isolation on our patients’ relationships and work life. Drawing on these observations, Tribeca Therapy was recently featured in Shape Magazine and Wingspan, speaking, respectively, on receiving texts from (or sending them to) exes while in quarantine and dealing with burnout caused by working from home.
In “Here’s Why Your Exes Are Texting You During Quarantine,” Shape’s Nikhita Mahtani asks our Founder and Clinical Director Matt Lundquist why many people find themselves either on the receiving end of texts from past relationships or are contacting their exes themselves. Explaining that right now “people need the familiar,” which can include unhealthy habits or going back to an old relationship, Matt says: “I’m seeing a lot of people receiving texts from exes and reaching out to exes, particularly because there’s such a shortage of intimacy right now, and so there’s a craving for that. We also have so much time to ruminate that reaching out to your most recent partner for some semblance of redemption can happen fairly often.”
The article offers a series of ways that readers can deal with texts from their ex, or if they’re the one who is seeking out their ex, navigate that connection thoughtfully. For those receiving texts, Matt suggests thinking about your ex’s intention behind the connection such as remorse, loneliness, anger, etc., as well as how you feel about the communication. He notes, “Even if you do have old feelings left for someone, many times, relationships ended for a reason… But sometimes when feelings have ended, you can maintain a friendship, or the alternative could be true—you could have both re-evaluated what made the relationship go wrong and have the chance to work it out.”
And for those sending messages to their previous partner(s), Matt recommends asking for consent since contact out of the blue can open up “a ton of feelings.” “I would definitely err on the side of caution if you do get a response, asking if they’re okay being in touch,” Matt explains.
Similar to our practice seeing an uptick in patients’ communication with exes, Wingspan also spoke to Matt about his experience with patients increasingly feeling burnt out from months of working at home for “Yes, You Can Burnout If You Work From Home–Here’s How To Deal.” While not all patients dislike working remotely, Matt describes, “I think most people, not all, are burnt out in some ways…Some people leaned into working more as a distraction from the anxiety of quarantine and COVID, but that’s only sustainable for so long.”
Matt presents some strategies to mitigate burnout, including taking breaks, making small changes where and how you work, and staying in touch with colleagues remotely. “Work relationships, even the ones we take for granted, are deep sources of meaning,” he asserts.