Right now, you are likely social distancing and staying at home with your significant other. Though this period of forced togetherness will undoubtedly bring some challenges, it’s also the perfect time to reconnect with your partner.
Right now, you are likely social distancing and staying at home with your significant other. I’ve spent seventeen days straight with my own husband, which in our 20 years as a couple, is the longest stretch of time we’ve spent together. Though this period of forced togetherness will undoubtedly bring some challenges, it’s also the perfect time to reconnect with your partner. Here are ten things you can do to encourage a happy relationship:Right now, you are likely social distancing at home with your significant other. I’ve spent eighteen days with my husband, which in our 20 years as a couple, is the longest stretch of time we’ve ever spent together. Though this period of forced togetherness will undoubtedly bring some challenges, it’s also the perfect time to reconnect with your partner.
Here are ten things you can do to encourage a happy relationship:
- Share Your Feelings. Each of us responds differently to stress and anxiety, so take a few quiet moments each day to talk about how you are feeling. Listen carefully and respond to your partner in a supportive and non-judgmental way. Here are a few ideas:
- “I hear you. I am worried too.”
- “I am here for you.”
- “Can I give you a hug?”
- “What can I do to help?
- Exercise. Whether individually or together, you need to move your body. Pull up an online class (like HASfit) or create your own routine. Move your body for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Play Outside. Go for a walk, throw a frisbee, jump rope, shoot some hoops, or run. Do things outside that you would have done as a kid, together. This is guaranteed to improve your mood and outlook.
- Touch. Hold hands. Give backrubs. Smack him on the butt when he bends over to look for something in the bottom drawer. Have sex. Cuddle up when watching a movie. Brush her hair. Squeeze his arm as you walk by. Give a lot of hugs.
- Pause Before Reacting. In such close quarters there are bound to be moments of tension, annoyance, and anxiety. For the sake of your relationship, pause a few moments before you react. It might save you from lashing out in anger, making a snarky comment, or using an annoyed tone of voice. I know it’s easier said than done, but even if you can hold your tongue just half of the time, your home will be happier.
- Smile. Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work to fight stress. This facilitates positive messaging to the whole body and the release of feel-good neurotransmitters (dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin). Smiling relaxes your body and lowers your heart rate and blood pressure—good things when you are under orders to stay at home. So smile when your partner comes into the room or tells you a story, watch or listen to comedies together, share memes, chat with loved ones, or dance…anything to get those happy chemicals flowing.
- Cook Together. This is a great time to prepare meals as a team and clean up as a team. Use it as a time to connect with your spouse. The food you eat should be healthy and nourishing. You should feel good about your body and the food you are putting in it.
- Surprise Each Other. Find little ways to brighten your partner’s day. Draw a silly picture, draft a poem, prepare a romantic meal after the kids are in bed, order a small gift online, organize the junk drawer, bake their favorite dessert, or help them with a project. Find ways to show your partner that you appreciate them and watch how they react.
- Spend Time Apart. It is healthy to have some alone time. Carve out a time each day where you do your own thing. Maybe one of you reads a book in the bedroom while the other works out in another room. Or one of you works on a puzzle in the kitchen while the other scrolls social media in the living room. Take some time apart to recharge your soul. If you are both working from home, arrange for separate quiet workspaces if possible.
- Show Grace and Express Gratitude. This is a difficult time for everyone. Give yourself and your partner some grace and don’t expect perfection. Tell your partner the specific ways you appreciate them. Show grace and forgiveness when tensions arise, and you will emerge from this pandemic even stronger than before.