As we all attempt to adjust to these unprecedented times, being forced to self-isolate and keep distance from others when we’re out can take its toll on your relationship.  So many couples are used to leading busy lives and have never spent this much downtime together and unfortunately it has been reported that incidents of domestic violence and substance abuse have increased during this stressful time.  Many people have lost their jobs and have no idea how they will make ends meet after this is over.

Do you have effective tools and strategies to manage your stress and anxiety during this time? What activities help you find peace and comfort? Here are a few thoughtful suggestions to help you get along and make the best of this momentary pause.

1. Keep Some Sense of a Daily Routine

Routines keep a sense of balance and make your lives feel more predictable.  Instead of staying in bed and sleeping in all day, wake up early and create a morning routine.  Maybe find an exercise that you both enjoy doing together and do that first thing in the morning to get the endorphins going.  Avoid using your phones or going on social media for at least an hour after you wake up (of course unless you have to work first thing).  If you are both working from home, schedule at least one meal to prepare together or take turns with one of you preparing lunch and the other dinner.

2. Respect Each Other’s Need For Privacy

One of the biggest challenges of losing our social interaction and daily routines is you become more dependent on each other to provide entertainment and only source of attention.  This can cause each of you to feel smothered and will eventually go from entertaining to resentment.  When your partner seems irritable or short-tempered, allow them to have some space to self regulate or even go for a walk.  To avoid conflict, try to work in separate rooms or areas so that you feel like you have a space to focus and get your work done.

3. Make A Plan For Something You’ve Been Putting Off

This is the perfect time to sit together and talk about your future plans or something you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the time.  When life-threatening events happen, it puts things into perspective and helps you reevaluate the things that are most meaningful.  If you’re not sure where to begin, ask each other what’s on your bucket list and begin thinking of when you can make time to check one off.

4. Schedule A Weekly Virtual Happy Hour With Your Friends

If you can’t visit anyone, the next best thing is online happy hours.  This gives you something to look forward to and catch up with your friends.  Some chat rooms are even hosting board games or karaoke so depending on what you’re into, you can host one and them it around your favorite activity.

5. Limit Your News and Social Media Consumption

Excessive exposure to negative news and misinformation can lead you into a deep depression and cause your “fight or flight” response to go into overdrive.  It’s important to stay educated and alerted to important developments but there’s no benefit to constantly scrolling your FB feed or checking your news alerts all day. Happier emotions will keep your immune system strong and assist with better quality sleep.

If you are struggling and are in constant conflict it may be a good idea to seek some outside support.  This is new territory for everyone and getting support to manage your stress could make a huge difference right now.  I am currently offering online counseling sessions to help you preserve your relationship and ride this storm out as a team.  Please email me at info@thelovesmith.com to schedule your FREE consultation.

If you are a victim of Domestic Violence and need help at this time, please reach out to 1-800-799-SAFE

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