Updated: May 19, 2020
When my husband, Roland, and I traveled the world for a year, we were stuck together 24 hours a day. Little did we know we would be using the same strategies that had kept us happily stuck together while traveling, during this pandemic.
The pressure of this pandemic could either turn our relationships to dust or diamonds. When China came out of quarantine, The Global Times reported an increase in divorce filings. Let’s not be another statistic, shall we?!
Let’s be real. Anything further I have to say doesn’t matter if you are in a relationship with the wrong person. If that’s the case - then be happy for this pandemic showing you it’s time to call it and move on. No more wasted time. Go get your happy. You deserve it.
Find something you LOVE and make time to dedicate to it. No excuses - prioritize yourself and your relationship and figure it out. Make a schedule and stick to it.
While traveling, I loved visiting art galleries, and Roland loved photography. Now, I am writing a book and this blog and Roland is creating beats. We give each other the space to work on these things, taking turns with the kids and encouraging each other.
Need some Inspiration?
Join a board or volunteer
Learn a new language (I love the Duolingo App)
Train for a race
This will give you each some time away from each other. You both need something else to talk about at the supper table anyway! It also gives your brain the opportunity to focus on something different, something enjoyable. Let the positivity ease your nerves from the constant negative news.
A healthy relationship exists if both people are healthy within themselves. Meaning they are taking care of their own well-being as well as that of the other person.
Sometimes when traveling I would lie in my bed, with the weary eyes of a mom with a newborn who is not getting enough sleep and think I don’t really need to look good today. None of these people will ever see me again, so what difference does it make? Well, because it’s not for them. It’s for me… and a little for Roland too.
It’s tempting to sit around in black leggings (with only a couple small holes in them), and a ratty t-shirt all day. The kids are going to have juice and crackers smeared on me within the hour, what’s the point in showering anyway?... and down the mental spiral of doom and gloom we go.
Stop. Show some self-respect. Be the partner you want to love. Shower and put at least a little effort into yourself every day. It will make you feel better and it will also tell your partner that they are important enough to do these things for.
Roland was so thankful for the trip planning I did that even when I royally F-ed it up, like booking tickets for the wrong day, he graciously kept criticisms to himself. Instead of rubbing it in my face, he said thank you for everything I had done and told me not to worry about the mistakes, we would figure it out together. Those acts of kindness meant so much to me.
Show appreciation for whatever it is your partner is bringing to the table right now. Are they braving the grocery store? Doing home renovations? Homeschooling the kids? Taking the dog for a walk every day? Cooking and baking? Joking to lighten the mood when they feel you slipping into a dark place? These things matter.
Show your appreciation in whatever THEIR love language is:
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
Go on, be a good Scout, and practice your one act of kindness every day on your partner.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the romantic throws of Paris or stuck in your 1000 Sq. foot flat at home. Get creative and show some initiative.
Need some Inspiration?
Picnic: lay it out in your backyard or a non-crowded park.
Games night: Try this virtual escape room or host a Karaoke night.
Fancy dinner with wine paring
Engage in Wanderlust: Plan a new trip or reminisce over one you’ve already taken.
Camp in your backyard
Spa Night: Scented candles, face masks, bath bombs and massage oil.
Breakfast in bed: followed by other shenanigans ;)
Visit my previous blog for other things to do during the Coronavirus lock down
Go all out. Dress for the occasion, buy that expensive bottle of wine, find a great playlist for the background, string-up some LED lights.
This is an ideal time to check-in with your partner. Maybe a lot has changed, or very little. Maybe you’ve enjoyed it, or your miserable or it changes hour by hour. Take the time to talk, do some strategizing and some dreaming. Be honest with each other, listen and be empathetic - we’re all going through something right now.
Of course, there are practical things like reviewing your financial budget and retirement funds. However, there are also more interesting topics - like what has this pandemic taught you about the world, your relationship and yourself? Or, lighten the mood and have fun fantasizing about your perfect pandemic home.
*Thanks to my incredible sister Carley for inspiring this post. xo