The coronavirus pandemic is in full swing worldwide, and a lot of cities are taking conscious actions to contain the COVID-19 from spreading in their communities. Staying inside together for weeks or months will be challenging. No matter how much you love each other, you have different habits and preferences. That can grate on you.
Here are some tips on how to maintain a healthy relationship while social distancing.
Create a Routine:
Even if you and your partner live together, your daily schedules create blocks of alone time. Commuting, work, childcare, errands, and other obligations structure that space into your day. But with social distancing guidelines in place, you’re both likely sharing your space all day, every day. To help ease this transition, Fitzpatrick suggests making a schedule to balance “me time” and together time. If you have meals together and spend the evenings watching Netflix together, then spend the mornings and afternoons on work, connecting with friends and family, working out and other self-care rituals.
Meditate for the maintenance of the connection:
We can experience this time as an opportunity to support each other. It is a stressful time for all us—individuals, couples, and families. Couples can allocate time to practice calming activities daily. Meditation, deep breathing exercise, and mindfulness can bring you a sense of calm and relaxation, a connection to your inner sense of peace, calm, and balance.
Take Time for Yourself:
Spending all of your time together under one roof can be overwhelming at times. If that’s not possible, try to create your own spaces in the room you have. Consider working on different sides of the space so that you don’t feel like you’re together every second of the day.
Remain as Calm as Possible During Conflict:
When you do choose to bring up issues, it’s best to remain as calm as possible. While you don’t want to wait too long to air your grievances, it’s OK to give yourself time and space to cool off. Don’t argue while you’re still angry. If you’re feeling particularly upset, she recommends calming down by focusing on your breathing, doing some stretches, or writing in your journal. Once you feel settled, then you can decide how to approach your partner constructively.
Social distancing, Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place orders don’t mean that you have to be cooped up indoors. You can still go outdoors, so long as you stay six feet away from others and avoid crowded places.
Go for a long walk or a leisurely bike ride together or by yourself. If you live in a city, consider off-peak hours in less-condensed areas. Not only will the fresh air feel great, but it will also give you both a refreshing change of scenery.
Have a Daily Check-In:
This is uncharted territory, which means it’s still a learning process. Treat it as such by having daily check-ins with your partner. Talk through what worked and what didn’t work. Maybe going on a walk in the afternoon helped boost both of your moods, or maybe taking that video call without headphones on was disruptive to your partner’s day. Keep the conversation constructive and bring solutions to any issues to the table.
Keep up with your date night:
Having local restaurants being shut down does not mean that you can’t have your date night. Plan an in-home date night! Put on your favorite music, light the candles, and prepare a special dinner together—maybe take turns cooking. You can pick up flowers at a local grocery store for the date night.