Ways to help your relationships during COVID-19
Updated: Mar 26
As more and more news continues to arise surrounding the progression of COVID- 19, a lot of couples are experiencing feelings of anxiety and panic. Anxiety about the unknown and the fear of being in close quarters with their families and loved ones for an extended period of time. Just a few weeks ago, we were living in a world that was encouraging a healthy balance of work, life, exercise and social media connection and today we find ourselves glued to our phones, media outlets with extracurricular activities cancelled and the feeling of being “stuck” in the same environment as our loved ones. Although this all seems true, lets explore some healthy ways to manage our own emotions and nurture our relationships during this time. Here are some quick tips to better help us create healthy boundaries in order to provide space for the self-care we need and deserve!
1. Communicate- We constantly hear about the importance of having open and honest communication, and during this time, communication is more important that ever. The more you are able to feel heard and hear others, the closer you will be. Share your feelings, vulnerabilities, goals and dreams. We are happier when we are working toward a goal than when we have achieved one. Make sure you always have something to look forward to and that you are pursuing it as a couple.
2. Allow Space- Being in close quarters can be difficult, so honor one another’s space and give each other space, especially when it is requested. Whether alone time is being taken in another room or silently next to one another, this is an important tactic to help reset yourself. You can also consider taking space through doing different at home hobbies (i.e. yoga, video games, etc.). There is no right or wrong way to do this, but listen to your bodies when it is asking to take a break and get some space.
3. Get Creative- Whether its finding things to do with children (i.e. kid yoga, building forts, playing a new board game, etc.) or finding things to do with your partner (cooking, planning an indoor date night, or downloading the Gottman cards app for an intimate talk etc.), planning new and exciting things together can help keep things fun and fresh.
4. Distract- It is difficult to turn off the news and turn off social media apps. We are in a current state of unknown, which leads to fear, which can increase anxiety. Learning about productive anxiety and unproductive anxiety can help you learn to find a balance and minimize the unproductive anxiety. In order to do this, you will need to distract. It is OK to take a break from the constant news, media postings and Instagram postings. So find a healthy distraction like a warm bath, an online yoga class or meditation and engage in that for a bit! Or find something that you like to do indoors and do it together!
5. Support- Be willing to work through difficulties and disagreements together. Provide each other with emotional support, validation and compliments as needed. If you are together for a while, there will be losses, challenges, and some things that you just can’t fix. Weathering the storms together is a big part of what relationships are all about.
6. Take Responsibility- Being able to admit mistakes and to talk about them is the first step in repairing a rupture. Learning to understand and let go of mistakes that you, your partner or family members make, will give you more time for joy. No matter how what steps you choose to take to help you during this time, remember that we can all do this and we are all in this together!