Quarantine is not only challenging for individuals, self-isolation is putting our relationships under the microscope too. As we remain in our homes, without any natural distance from our partners, it’s easy to feel like you’re living on top of one another. Adapting to this new lifestyle means that we must embrace our partners’ quirks and allow for our relationships to evolve… a task which might not appear to be particularly simple.
Fortunately, strengthening our relationships during quarantine is achievable. This close proximity provides us with ample opportunity to better understand our partners, the dynamics of our relationships and how we fare under pressure; lessons which are essential as we look to create a long-lasting, supportive partnership.
Shelley Bosworth, a Qualified Life & Mindset Coach, has vast experience in helping women to strengthen their relationships, often during the most unexpected of circumstances. As we navigate these difficult waters and hope to find comfort in those closest to us, Shelley is here to help you strengthen your valued relationships.
‘Covid-19 has put more stress than we have ever known on the economy, our NHS, peoples’ finances, our children’s education and our relationships. We’re spending more time inside with our partners, whilst navigating an unprecedented series of challenges which none of us could have anticipated nor prepared for. Some couples will naturally flourish, finding this close proximity to be without difficulty. However, if you feel that lockdown has put some strain on your relationship then you’re certainly not alone.’
‘Do you and your partner have different views on everything that’s happening around us and what action should be taken? Have your roles changed, with this new dynamic in itself throwing new challenges your way? We are all experiencing a ‘new normal’ and this may leave your relationship feeling a little more fragile than usual. If this is the case I would recommend several tips to help strengthen your relationship during quarantine.’
If you’re hoping to achieve a closer connection during quarantine, embrace Shelley’s top tips…
1. Get talking
You might be living under the same roof but it’s still important to check in with each other emotionally. Instead of flippantly asking ‘Are you ok?’ whilst you finish a chore or make a coffee, make time to really check in and talk to each other about how you’re feeling. If your routines and roles have changed, try to make this adjustment work for the both of you, not just one of you. Discuss what’s working, what’s not and what can be adjusted to make this journey easier for everyone.
2. Remember: your way isn’t the only way
When it comes to processing the events that surround us, there’s no roadmap to the perfect reaction. No response to Covid-19 is ‘good’ or ‘bad’; our feelings, and our reactions in turn, are completely unique to us and this is something we all need to respect. You might find comfort in keeping up to date with all current events whilst your partner might find this to be difficult, instead preferring to ignore the headlines. Remember that your way isn’t always the right way for your partner, respect your boundaries and find a balance.
3. Appreciate what you have
Something that you usually find quite irritating about your partner might actually be useful in quarantine life. Think about all that your partner does for you and use this time to show your appreciation. Also acknowledge the opportunities that this uncertainty has provided; perhaps you rarely sat around the table for dinner together, or always felt too tired to chat after the kids went to bed. Take a moment to consider what you are doing now that you weren’t able to before and celebrate these little wins with your partner.
4. Pick your battles
Are you bickering more than normal? Ask yourself ‘Is it worth it?’ In the grand scheme of things, what we’re all going through now upon reflection will be a mere snapshot in our lives. If what you’re bickering about isn’t really that big of an issue, try to move on. Take yourself away from the situation for a moment’s peace and regroup your thoughts.
5. Make time for date night
When leaving the house is impossible, this doesn’t mean quality time needs to go out the window. In fact, it’s probably more important than ever to plan a movie night or prepare a lovely meal together. If you’re not in the same house together, get creative about how you stay in touch – arrange a virtual date night dinner or catch a movie together with a glass of wine via video chat.
6. Take care of you
In order to take care of your relationship, you need to take care of yourself. Give each other a break and practice a little self-care, encouraging your partner to do the same.
For more insight into how you can strengthen your relationship, visit www.shelleybosworthcoaching.com/