Lockdown and quarantine can test even the healthiest of relationships between couples as routines change, work life and personal life responsibilities are brought together in one place, and you are around each other almost all hours of each day.
We understand that this can be a difficult time for some couples, and that’s why we’ve listed ten ways that you can keep things positive between you and your partner.
1. Communication is key: Let each other know what you’re doing or what you can do during the day
This has most likely caused a change in your routines, particularly if your both work and have school-age children. It’s important to keep communicating in a positive way so that both of you know when you’re busy, in meetings, able to take the kids for a bit, etc.
Communication can help forge new routines, or at least allow you to plan each day and provide yourself with some structure.
2. Designate spaces where you can work, and make sure that you’re both comfortable while you are working from home
Whatever you decide, make sure that both of you are on board. If you have a quiet room that’s great for meetings – it might be good to have that as a shared space so that you both have the ability to host web-conferences or just get some solid work done.
3. Utilise your exercise allowance in different ways depending on your needs, and the needs of the family
As everyone is allowed to leave their homes for one piece of exercise a day, you can use this in a number of ways. You might need a bit of self-contemplation, or some space, and go on a solo-jog, or you might want to get out and have a walk together to stretch your legs and appreciate being out of the house.
In any case, make sure that you communicate positively and effectively with your partner, and that you continue to follow the Government’s advice in regards to social distancing.
As time outside is limited also, it’s an idea to communicate with each other as to what tasks need to be done whilst out, like walking the dog for example.
4. Appreciate there are different ways to handle this situation, and that your partner may share differing views on how
This comes back to communication being key. Talk about it together and come up with solutions together by being collaborative. Don’t dismiss concerns out of hand. Praise each other for finding solutions and for handling the situation and create a positive, collaborative atmosphere.
5. Understand that others may be of higher priority right now
If your family includes anyone that may be vulnerable, their needs may need to be prioritised over your own. It’s best that you come together as a couple, understand who in your family may require your help and how, and best understand what you need to do as a family to ensure they are taken care of.
6. Are you in lockdown apart? Get creative!
If you’re not in the same house and trying to get through lockdown together, try different ways of keeping in touch. Technology has made video calling a normality, and there are a number of things you can experience together as a couple too including pub quizzes, concerts, and more being hosted online. If you have a Netflix account, you can even coordinate viewing through extensions like Netflix Party so you’re watching the same thing at the same time.
7. Utilise your support network, they’re still there even in lockdown
Just because you’re not able to go and see people doesn’t mean that they aren’t there to talk to. If you’re feeling frustrated or need advice and usually talk to someone about these sort of things instead of escalating it within your family, it would be wise to continue to do so.
8. Take time to reflect before you react
If you’re upset or frustrated by something, try taking a moment to reflect on it before reacting. Try counting to ten, and thinking whether reacting immediately will make the situation better. You might find that it’s better not to react immediately or at all and instead communicate calmly in a constructive manner.
9. Choose your battles and communicate constructively where possible
It is likely that you will have arguments and frustrations during this time. It’s best to try and deal with them in as positive and constructive a manner as possible – particularly as you don’t have anywhere you can avoid each other from afterwards.
Try and only press on issues that are of particular concern (remember there are bigger things out there to be concerned with right now – some difficult conversations might need to be shelved altogether right now) and do so in a way that both of you can be heard and find solutions.
10. Think of the children
If you have children, it’s good to keep in mind that they will learn a lot from you both right now: the need to be responsible, resourceful, and even being able to resolve conflicts. Keep that in mind, especially as you’re all under one roof together.