5 Ways Couples Can Manage COVID-19 Together
In addition to upending how we work, learn, eat, exercise, and live day to day, COVID-19 can also have a major impact on relationships.
Even in normal times, couples work on conflict resolution, common goals, and other pillars of good relationship health. Our current challenge makes these pillars even more important, especially if you live together.
These recommendations are a good place for couples to start as shared isolation continues.
1. Be on the same page.
Having an ally and partner right now is a huge advantage. The key is to be in tune with each other. Make sure you share the same priorities and strategies. Check in with each other as the COVID-19 situation—and your needs—evolve. Working together will make the lockdown experience more tolerable and successful.
2. Give each other space.
It’s likely you never expected to be spending all your time together in close quarters. Carve out time to check in with other family and friends separately, read books, work on individual projects, or just decompress with however much physical space you need.
3. Defuse frustration.
In the same vein, when the stress of COVID-19 begins to rise, it’s essential to find relief before it spills over into unnecessary fights. Resolve tension before it begins by going for a solo walk or drive when the togetherness gets to be overwhelming.
4. Don’t let circumstances define everything.
It’s impossible not to be affected at least a little by the difficult times we’re living through. Anxiety is natural, as is frustration. But COVID-19 shouldn’t be the only topic of conversation and the only factor defining your shared day-to-day. Keep perspective. Recognize that this is a lengthy—but still temporary—way of living. COVID-19 should have some, but not total, say in how you feel.
5. Enjoy being friends.
Obviously, you’re more than that. But with so many practical components—childcare, elderly parent care, rearranging future travel plans, potential financial difficulty, etc.—weighing on both of you, it’s important to nurture the lighter parts of your relationship. Incorporate humor. Tackle a new hobby or project together. Make a point of enjoying each other’s company in ways that have nothing to do with managing COVID-19.