4 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Relationship This Pandemic
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If there’s something this pandemic has done, it’s the opportunity of getting to know our partners (again). As our busy lifestyles froze, we were all forced to stay at home 24/7 – and seeing the same person months on end with almost nothing to do can make a huge difference.
Vagdevi Meunier, Psy.D. master trainer for the Gottman Institute, agrees that 2020 has been very challenging for couples: some got to understand each other better and be happier, while others have grown apart.
If you’re one of the majority of Americans who find their relationship difficult at times, this post is for you. Let’s have a look at two experts and their advice on (re)creating a healthy connection with your partner.
Stay in the present
As Meunier explains, most arguments in a couple are fueled by the past or the future, both of which are irrelevant right now. However, doing the same thing every day for months can get on your nerves – especially when your spouse is watching TV while you’re doing the dishes for the tenth time.
However, each problem feels much bigger if you bring in the past. Instead, Meunier advises, you can try kindly asking for help or simply stating the current issue like ‘Right now I am tired and I need your help.’ Patience is key!
Create new healthy habits
Going on vacations, shopping, taking a stroll in the park are all healthy habits that remind us why we love our partners so much. Cleaning the house daily, trying to work from home simultaneously and planning grocery trips two days ahead are far from being romantic.
It’s easy to get caught up in a seemingly endless routine. However, this is your opportunity to create new habits that bring out the romance in a relationship. Movie nights, setting working hours, picnics in isolated places outdoors can work magic on your mood.
Adapt your roles in the relationship
Robert Allan, Ph.D., assistant professor of couple therapy at the University of Colorado, explains that the way each of you did certain tasks pre-pandemic may not work equally well today. It’s important to give each other space and free time when needed, especially if you also have children. For example, one parent can go for a walk with the kids while the other is having a meeting, or telling bedtime stories so the significant other can simply relax for a bit.
I wanted to share the most important tip last because I want you to remember it. Spending time together 24/7 and seeing everything your partner does may leave you with very little to say. As Allan explains, routine and frustration caused by the pandemic can actually make partners more distant than ever.
Sharing your thoughts and feelings is now more important than ever. You’re not complaining about waiting in line at Walmart. You’re expressing your concerns during an unprecedented time with an unknown future. Simply having an honest conversation about all of these things can make a huge difference in your mood and establish a sense of safety at home, with your beloved one – as it should be.
However, if you feel like you can’t get the hang of getting along with your spouse or partner, do contact a specialist. Many psychologists are doing virtual therapy sessions that can make a huge difference in the way you’re feeling.
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