Couples are spending more time together in this time of isolation than ever before. For some, the additional time may be met with delight and lead to stronger connection. However for most, the constant togetherness (mixed with anxiety) may lead to frustration, irritability, or highlight the disconnection between partners.
We would like to offer seven tips for having a more positive experience with your partner during this unique and challenging time:
- Focus on the positive.
It’s easy to notice the irritating way your spouse chews their food, leaves dishes in the sink or their work papers all over the house. However, if we can start the day with a positive affirmation, “It’s going to be a good day,” our brain takes a more positive view. Show appreciation to your partner by thanking them for making breakfast, working hard, or just being a good listener. Gratitude sets our minds on a track to notice what is good. Try to find 3 things each day to appreciate about your partner and/ or the life you have together.
- Find time for Fun!
It can be tempting to continuously check the news or social media for the latest updates and be overwhelmed with the negativity that exists. While staying informed may be advisable, make time to play games, be goofy, laugh, dance or otherwise engage in “play.” Laughter produces positive chemical reactions in our body and helps us feel better.
- Create team projects.
This might be as simple as asking for help with laundry. Perhaps there has been a household project you’ve both been avoiding? Now is the time to join forces to accomplish projects together. When we create or accomplish tasks together, we create memories and bond with our partners in unique ways.
- Utilize conversation starters instead of screen time.
Search for “conversation starters” on the web. You will have a plethora of choices! Choose one and take turns asking each other questions about life, relationships, the future, things both serious and silly! Put down the phones, turn off the TV and see if you can learn new things about your partner.
- Get outside!
Exercise! Going for a walk or run, or simply sitting outside can provide the fresh air our lungs need. Sunshine is good for positive mental energy and vitamin D.
- Find your “me” time.
We all need some “me time.” A couple of times per day, take a few minutes to be alone. Take a walk outside, go into another room, or put on headphones to be able to focus on your own thoughts and needs.
- Know when to ask for help
There is so much change going on in our everyday lives, it may feel overwhelming. If you or your partner are having trouble “getting back” to a positive frame of mind, or are having overwhelming emotions, please reach out. We are here for you.