We're here to help during the current COVID-19 crisis. To protect our clients and therapists we are currently offering Telemental Health (online video sessions).
This is an extremely difficult and stressful time for all of us. Social distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19 is producing all kinds of issues and challenges to relationships. Since we are now confined to our homes with our partners, we have to somehow balance work life and personal life, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Couples should come together during these stressful and trying times so that it doesn’t take a toll on their relationship. It is important for couples to manage all of the stress of the uncertainty without projecting their anger, sadness and anxiety onto one another. Leaning on and drawing from each other’s strengths is key during this coronavirus pandemic. Effective communication, including active listening are essential skills to make sure couples are turning toward one another, rather than away, during this crisis. Here are some tips for getting through this COVID-19 crisis together.
Don’t allow yourselves to become overwhelmed. Share with your partner all the added responsibilities and chores that need to be accomplished such as cleaning, cooking, online grocery shopping, homeschooling and entertaining children.
Talk through all that needs to get done. Also talking about your thoughts, fears, feelings and anxieties are all essential for keeping the lines of communication clear, open, and effective. It is also really important to validate your partner’s feelings during this crisis. Remember to let out your emotions to each other, and not to take out your emotions on one another.
Literally and figuratively giving each other pats on the back are so critical during this crisis. A simple “thank you” can go a long way in letting one’s spouse know that you are grateful to be going through this together as a team. We all need to feel appreciated and not taken for granted with all the added responsibilities and tasks.
Hugs and kisses, holding hands all can bond couples during these extraordinary times. Affection makes one feel good and reduces stress and anxiety. This can help not to feel so isolated during this socially isolating time. Obviously, if you or your spouse isn’t feeling well, isolate within your home.
Take a Break
Spend some time together that isn’t focused on work, the kids or the present crisis. Have a date night, cuddle in bed and watch your favorite TV show, a movie, have a game night or have a picnic in your room or backyard.
Sticking to or creating a new routine can help to reduce the stresses associated with this crisis. Get up and get ready for the day, get the kids started on their school work and then start your work, have time for the added chores of being home. Take a lunch break and recess time as a family which will help your bond as a couple.
Natural anxiety reducers include eating healthfully, exercise, and a good night’s sleep. You can talk and spend time together while cooking a meal or going for a walk. Try an online exercise class or cooking class together.
Have a sense of humor. Couples that laugh together stay together and laughter is a great stress reducer too.
Take time for yourself. Personal space and time is important. Read a book, put your headphones on and listen to music, take a bath. We are better partners when we take care of ourselves.
The COVID-19 crisis is creating a great deal of stress and anxiety. This is a scary and challenging time, but when couples work together they can strengthen their bond. If you and your partner need professional help, seek couples counseling with a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. During this crisis, most therapists are providing online sessions making it easy to connect.