Many are coping with anxiety around maintaining relationships, and the stress stemming from COVID-19.
With so much to adjust to from being quarantined and working from home, to not working at all, how can couples continue maintaining relationships, and stay connected through so much change and uncertainty?
There are things that you and your partner can implement to grow together rather than apart as you navigate a new normal.
Being cooped up while practicing social distancing can be difficult especially if you are an extrovert.
Instead of focusing on all the things that you have lost access to, brainstorm alternatives for things to do when stuck at home, self-care activities, maintaining relationships, and techniques for coping with stress and anxiety.
5 things couples can do during the quarantine for maintaining relationships
1. Creativity in maintaining relationships
Ask yourself, what is the next best thing that you can do right now?
Instead of the gym, perhaps you can try a virtual workout. A couple’s workout is one of the perfect at-home activities for couples to do.
It may be power walking or a jog around the block. Sure, it may not be your favorite spin class, but find something that lets you indulge in physical activity.
Sit down with your partner and reflect on what your day-to-day routine looked like previously and identify any rituals or activities that you indulged in that made a difference in your day and helped in maintaining relationships.
If you used to read a good book or listened to your favorite podcast on your commute to work and now you are working from home, start your day in the same way.
One of the things couples can do together is understanding each other’s taste and pick up a book to read together. Create a list of books to read and choose the option you will both want to read as a couple.
Recreating structure that has helped you to feel grounded can still be useful even if your day looks a little different now.
3. Finding space under the circumstances
Finding and creating space is imperative when quarantined as a couple, it just may look a little different.
Space might be a walk around the block, me-time in another room, or noise-canceling headphones
You may have to get creative but it’s important that you ask for space when you need it. Especially while struggling with maintaining relationships during the unprecedented times of COVID-19.
Scheduling your physical activity and “me-time” can be an asset as you maneuver being in close quarters.
Maintaining relationships had never been more challenging.
Instilling structure and self-care practices not only helps you to better cope with stress in general, but it also will help you to be better equipped to emotionally regulate when stress or anxiety arises.
Particularly, if one or both of you have lost income and are navigating financial stress, it’s imperative that your mental health is a top priority so that you can manage and solve problems together as a team.
4. Creating a system of space, self-care, and support
You don’t want to make any financial decisions from a place of fear or stress. If anxiety around finances is overwhelming your relationship, check out a few tips for managing money anxiety.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Jelisha Gatling, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, works with couples in her private practice in New York City. Her work focuses on helping couples to heal wounds from betrayal and infidelity. She supports couples in creating nourishing relationships by helping them to unpack their baggage so that they can move forward and connect in healthier ways. She is an avid blogger and presents self-care workshops in the NYC area. With a creative arts background, Jelisha weaves her creativity and humor into her therapeutic work in addition to being an expert writer for Backstage Magazine helping artists navigate relationship hurdles. You can follow Jelisha on Instagram, Facebook and can book a free phone consultation here. You can also subscribe to her Youtube Channel, Lets Unpack Therapy, where she hosts Thirsty Thursdays with a Therapist discussing tips and tools that help couples to quench the thirst in their relationships.