HM Insights

Top wellbeing tips to guide modern families through a difficult time

The divorce rate in China has soared in the last week, as the after effects of self isolation are felt by families. It is a serious matter – the effects of stress upon modern families, whether separated or not, can be considerable. Family lawyers regularly hear of the impact that unhealthy coping mechanisms can have on wider family relationships.


At Harper Macleod we want to see families continue to function together, which is why we have formulated a few tips which might help guide modern families through these challenging times.

Acknowledge distress

Worries abound at times of national unease. People are understandably worried about their health, their children's safety, about wider family members and about money. Trying to talk openly about fears can help families to acknowledge how others are feeling, which in turn helps generate solutions or at least a sense of support. A little acknowledgement can go a long way.

Stay positive

This is easier said than done, we know. But generating options and finding solutions to problems becomes easier with a clear mind. Mindfulness exercises can clear minds and help maintain a positive mind set. Practices including yoga and meditation can help, too.

Limit exposure to social media

Staying connected becomes even more important when isolated from family, friends and regular social networks; however, too much screen time can negatively affect mood, connectedness to others in the household, and sleep quality.

Spend time together

If you are at home with a partner or spouse, using the time to engage in activities or hobbies you can enjoy together can pay dividends. Now that so many activities can be done online, a period of home isolation creates a great opportunity to spend time together enjoying common interests or on learning about new ones.

…but carve out personal space, too

In today's world it is relatively uncommon for families to spend long passages of time together, in the same place. Maintaining personal space can help beat so called "cabin fever", allowing couples and families to then connect in a calmer way. Suggesting walks alone or soaking in bubble baths with a good book may sound like trite advice, but can help give individuals much needed rest and calm.

Structure your day

Try if possible to keep to a routine. If you are working at home, try to stick to usual office hours. Keeping to usual times to get up, get ready for the working day and taking regular breaks can help maintain some sense of normality. A lack of routine and enforced periods of time together are the most commonly cited reasons behind the seasonal spikes in separation at Christmas and around holiday periods.

Avoid alcohol

Family lawyers are well versed in the effects of excess alcohol on family relationships. Healthier coping strategies including exercise, mediation and good old fashioned talking to each other can help sustain families through difficult times.

Get in touch

Our family law team is made up of experienced family law solicitors around the country. Many of our team are trained in various methods of dispute resolution, including mediation and collaborative practice, and are Accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as specialists in their field. Head of Family Law Amanda Masson holds the COSCA qualification in Counselling Skills.