From social distancing to working from home to your kids being with you all day to even seeing empty store shelves of toilet paper and water daily, COVID-19 has changed so much about how we live and interact with each other.
For relationships, this could be very challenging. Will you become closer as a couple or will this virus send you to divorce?
Here are 6 ways to keep hope alive and strive toward a healthy relationship:
One of the main ways to building a healthy relationship in any setting, and I share this in all my counseling sessions, is communication.
Whether it is getting together to discuss quick check-ins, daily ups and downs or just talking about the kids, communicating in one way or another is essential in your relationship.
During this current situation each of you might have different ways or thoughts of getting through all of this, so communication can take on an even greater importance.
2. Personal Time & Space
Another change many are experiencing is the work from home mandate. How are you both dealing with this? Particularly if you live in a smaller space, being with each other all day can be a challenge.
One of the changes we also will need to make is a mindset shift. This pertains to the need for personal time and space.
Are you alright with your partner doing things by themselves inside your four walls alone? Could you benefit from this as well? Communicate often and set boundaries for when is your own time.
3. Establish routines
Different routines, changes and challenges. Has the new normal benefitting you in some way?
One idea is to bring some sort of structure to your new world. Maybe have assigned roles for each day: who cooks, who answers the phone, who cleans and other things.
Another idea is to schedule time to sit down and talk about what is happening around you and your family and how it is affecting everyone.
4. Don’t push for sex
Sexual desire during a stressful time like this can be low for some. Stress affects libido. It is very important to not nag or shame your partner into sex. It will leave both of you at a low point.
Of course, for some couples, it is an ideal time for sexual relations. We might even see a lot of babies born nine months from now.
With the two of you staying within the same four walls for hours upon hours, sometimes we might forget the little things.
Gratitude is one of them. By simply acknowledging something was done can make a huge difference. These gestures can set the tone for future interactions.
6. Get therapy
Many therapists have a telehealth/online counseling option so you can do that from the comforts of your place.
A therapist can lend an ear to help you work through some of these difficult issues such as anxiety, depression or relationship issues.
Typically all telehealth would be on a HIPAA-compliant platform, but the government has approved non HIPAA-compliant platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime or Skype too.
Relationships are tough, but even more so in the type of environment we are in right now. Remember this is only temporary. We will get through this.