It has happened quickly, COVID-19 has changed our lives, at least temporarily. Self-quarantine and social distancing are the hashtags of the hour, and for very good reason. It is dangerous and spreading quickly. We have reacted quickly and shut down schools, churches, restaurants, and are operating stores on reduced hours. These are positive steps towards reducing how quickly the virus will spread and allow hospitals and medical centers to not be overwhelmed with a number of cases that cannot be treated if it were to spread quickly.
What will it do to couples who are not used to spending 24/7 alone together? Aside from what I am guessing will be an upcoming baby boom it could either strengthen or destroy relationships. You will need to stay busy and move forward as a couple if you are to survive. Realistically we are not used to spending so much time together…home…alone. I work from home, Eric works in the bar/restaurant industry, and yesterday they closed all bars and restaurants to all dine in customers. We knew it was coming, and we don’t disagree with it, as much as it will cut our income for the time being. We are financially prepared, but last night we knew we needed to sit down and come up with a plan to survive each other.
“What?!?! Survive each other? You must not have a good relationship!” I can hear those thoughts coming even as I am typing this for the first time. Honestly, we have a great relationship, we are truly best friends and talk to each other about everything. Yes, we squabble, yes, we can each get unreasonable from time to time as we are real, and our relationship is real, but we do know how to work through whatever has come up in the past, even the large things. This is a new experience for us however, as it is for everyone.
We have always had our own time. We have never had to be confined together, with no alternatives. We will get bored, we will run out of things to talk about, we will get on each other’s nerves. It is just us and our dog, Puck in our home. Therefore, we need to come up with a plan to survive each other.
We know we are not alone in this so we have come up with a list of ways couples can survive with a healthy relationship by the time this is over.
Honey-Do Lists for both of You
Yep, this is the perfect time to take on all the things we have put off around the house for too long, and get some things done we just have never quite gotten around to yet. Whether you live in an apartment, or have property I am sure you have projects you can tackle both separately and as a couple, and you will both feel a sense of achievement when these things are done.
Some things we have come up with to tackle are:
- Clean out and organize the garage
- Clean the yard
- Clean out the garden beds and plant seeds, bulbs, etc.
- Build raised planters
- Clean out the closets
- Go through all our old clothes and decide what to keep and what to donate.
- Paint the stairwell
- Organize the pantry
- Defrost the freezer
- Paint the Adirondack chairs
- Go over bills and review the budget
- Learn what new things our Amazon Alexa can do, and set up what we want to try
Some of these things will be fun, some won’t, but they will all give us a sense of accomplishment, which is important. We need to feel we have been able to work together to move forward. We also need to have fun, so we have also come up with a list of things to do that we enjoy.
Fun Ways to Stay Busy Together
We can get a lot accomplished as a couple around the house we just haven’t gotten done for one reason or another, but we also need to have fun. When you are home you can tend to get bored and not think outside the box. It can’t be all “Netflix and Chill” all the time. You need to be able to have a variety of fun things you can do as well.
- Put on your walking shoes and go for a walk, this is okay, so long as you are keeping your distance from others.
- Find recipes and cook together
- Gardening (yes, this is on both lists)
- Play video games, if you have any (we don’t, but may need some before this is over)
- Play cards (Uno, Skip-bo, Mille Bornes, Phase 10, etc) Triominoes, Scrabble, etc.
- Do a puzzle
- Learn a new craft or skill (We will be experimenting with a microwave kiln)You can watch it the video here.
- Plan a future vacation, long or short… day trips are a lot of fun
- Push the furniture back, turn up the music, and dance.
Don’t Forget to Take Time for Yourself
Even if you are self-quarantining with other people, be sure you take time out for yourself. Too much of anything is a bad thing, including your significant other, no matter how much you love them. Take time to read a good book, take a bubble bath, meditate, or do a crossword puzzle. Don’t let the close quarters come between the two of you. If you need space or time to yourself, let the other person know this, be honest that this is what you need.
Above all, during these times remember you are in this together and you are both dealing with a multitude of feelings that are very different at different times. If you find resentment creeping in, use the internet to find ways to bring the two of you back into sync. There are a lot of sites out there with great ways to encourage communication and share your feelings with each other without causing more frustration. If you need these, by all means, utilize them.
Even while you are practicing social distancing or self-quarantine be sure you stay in touch with others. These days more than before it is important to have outside communication to keep yourself sane as well as fight depression. This is not an entirely a tip for you though. You have relatives, neighbors, and friends who will feel far more isolated that you might, and reaching out to them to let them know you are thinking of them will mean far more then you could ever imagine. Social media is great for this, but never forget the connection you can make by simply making a phone call and hearing someone’s voice.