For years, technology has overtaken our lives, leaving the people we share it with competing for attention. With our busy schedules leaving so little time for togetherness, many of us have made concerted efforts to minimize how digital distractions impact us.
Then, 2020 happened and, suddenly, we weren’t leaving the house! You may have enjoyed this initially, but over time, many couples have felt the strain of being together all the time. If you’ve had some struggles, we’ve got tips for a relationship reboot to help you recover after quarantine.
Can You Relate?
Trying to raise kids while earning an income and maintaining a healthy relationship takes work during the best of times. It’s not surprising that intimacy and happiness have taken a nosedive as we navigate a pandemic. Are you experiencing any of the following stressors?
- No personal space
- Job loss
- Working from home for the first time
- Illness in the family
- Kids at home/homeschooling
- Missing family and friends
- Lack of exercise
- Drop-in self-care
- Grocery shopping nightmares
- Political concerns
There’s no point in trying to sugar-coat it (unless you’ve been binge-eating donuts like us!)—this year has been atrocious. If you can relate to any of those things, it’s understandable that your relationship is struggling. The good news is that you can turn things around.
You’ve undoubtedly had arguments where you’ve done nothing but point out each other’s flaws. How productive are those moments? Really think about it. Most of the time, those types of fights hurt your relationship more than they help.
Rather than focus on how your partner can improve, work on yourself. Think of all the ways you can feed your soul and feel more fulfilled. Dedicate time to your own personal growth and watch how that impacts the rest of your life. You might be completely amazed by the transformation.
We’ve heard about the benefits of exercise for years. Not only is it good for our bodies, but being physically active provides benefits to both our mental and emotional health. During a pandemic, though, you might not feel as safe going to a gym or heading out for a run.
There are many ways to stay in shape inside your home. There are apps, including YouTube, that offer free workouts that you can try—even in your pajamas! If space allows, you could also invest in equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike. Just keep moving and sweat out the stress to improve your own sense of well-being and your ability to be a good partner.
At-Home Date Night
Spending quality time together is very important, but our regular lives have been disrupted. If you used to enjoy dinner and a movie together, for example, this pandemic has made that very difficult, if not impossible. Don’t give up, though. Get creative and find new ways to connect.
An at-home date night may not sound as fun, but with a little effort, it could be amazing. You could start a whole new tradition. Make a list of movies you’ve both always wanted to see, find a new recipe you can try, or spend a few hours working on vision boards. The goal is to set aside some time to connect and recharge together.
Our lives have changed so much this year. In fact, our lives continue to evolve and change so much that it’s hard to keep up. Our days might seem completely different than they were this time last year, and many of us are just treading water and hoping to get through this.
One thing you can do is work out a new routine. Yes, it will probably need to be flexible, but if you can add some predictability, you’ll feel more stable. Choose something simple—eat the same breakfast every day or do the same yoga stretching right before bed each night. Feeling more grounded will go a long way towards improving the energy and rhythm inside your home.
Even with our best efforts and intentions, we may find ourselves needing additional support to get through tough times. There’s absolutely no shame in reaching out for help—don’t continue to suffer alone. So many people have felt anxiety or depression about the pandemic, and that’s on top of whatever we’re going through in our personal lives.
There’s a lot going on, and many of us are feeling overwhelmed. Virtual counseling is a great option for addressing individual, couple, or family concerns. You can ask your family doctor for a referral of anyone providing virtual services in your area, or you can choose from the growing list you’ll find by doing a search online.
Almost every level of our lives has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s understandable that couples have suffered. Remember all of the reasons why you chose your partner, openly discuss any issues you’ve been having, and then come up with a plan to work on yourselves and your relationship. You can get through this together!