The old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder, has never been so evident as now, in week 9,680 of lockdown. Being cooped up inside, dealing with the stress of the unknown, and juggling working from home, kids, and general sanity is putting a great deal of strain on even the happiest of relationships. In the spirit of avoiding divorce, we are bringing you six helpful tips for preventing fights during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Sort Out Your Money Situation
One of the top subjects that couples fight over is money (right up there with sex and parenting). The pandemic has put a lot of added stress on families, with unemployment soaring and workplaces reducing hours. Now is the time to cut your spending down as low as it can go. Check whether you are eligible for any government subsidies or entitlements, and do some research into small loans if necessary. There has never been a better time to make sure you are on the same financial page as your partner!
Take Some “Me Time”
Try to carve out some time each day to do something just for you. You could read a book, do a crossword, maybe try out an online yoga session. As humans, we aren’t used to being confined in the same space as our partner for long periods. In “normal life,” quality time at home is broken up by heading off to work, going to the gym, or visiting a friend, so try to emulate this with some time alone.
Turn Up the Music
Music is a fantastic mood regulator. Research has shown it can relieve boredom, calm stress, and improve your emotional state. Switching on some music and starting a family dance party can be a game-changer when you are struggling through tantrums and petty arguments. Even if you don’t have kids, having a dance around the living room with your partner can help break the monotony of lockdown life.
Agree on a Work Schedule
Juggling homeschooling, working from home, online meetings, and housework is incredibly challenging. It’s worth sitting down at the beginning of each morning to touch base on what the day ahead holds. You might take turns helping with schoolwork or playing with the kids, so you both have a chance to complete your essential tasks. It is also a good idea to stagger your online meetings if you can, especially if you are living in a small space like an apartment.
Do you know what your partner’s love language is? Whether they respond to gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, or quality time, think about some small things that you can do to connect. For example, if they show love through acts of service, you could make them a tea or coffee in the morning, help out with a household chore that they typically take care of, or bring them their favorite snack. Small acts of kindness will go a long way to keeping things civil, and hopefully, your partner will reciprocate.
If you are struggling, try to work out the root cause of your feelings. Are you lashing out because you feel stressed about work? Are you missing your friends? Try to talk through how you are feeling with everyone in the household. You should also check-in to see if they are struggling with anything.
Remember, the lockdown won’t last forever; we just need to get through this challenging time. And whatever you do, don’t steal all the toilet paper!!