Maintaining a Healthy Relationship During Coronavirus
Now that we are all sheltering in place, many of us are spending more time with our partners than ever before. For some this is an unexpected bonus, providing them with time to enjoy shared interests and strengthen bonds, but for others this can be an unexpected stressor on an otherwise happy relationship.
Approach this as a team
Many of us are concerned with issues like money or getting sick (or having a loved one get sick), but we don’t have to deal with these concerns alone. Discussing these fears with your partner and figuring out how you will work together to face them can help provide you with a sense of safety and security.
Make time for alone time
Don’t feel obligated to spend every moment together just because you are both at home. Maintaining healthy boundaries and enjoying solo activities will give you both time to regain a sense of self and can provide you with things to talk about once you are together again.
Studies have shown that sun exposure increases serotonin levels, which boosts your mood and helps you feel calmer and more focused. As long as you continue to maintain social distancing rules, taking a walk around the block or working in the garden is the perfect way to add a little sunshine to your day.
Maintain outside friendships
Unfortunately, during this time it’s not advisable to visit friends and family face-to-face, but we are lucky enough to live in a time when socializing can be done in many other ways. Scheduling video chats or phone calls with friends can help you pursue your interests – even if you don’t share them with your spouse. Plus, friends give you additional outlets for self-expression and fun. This way, you can come back to the relationship feeling fulfilled and energized.
In these times it’s important for couples to seek more conscious conversations instead of focusing energy on the current news cycle or depressing social media feeds. Communication is not just about speaking, it is also about active listening – so take this time to get to know your partner on a deeper level. Ask them questions, play games, and learn more about what makes each other tick.
Be flexible and compassionate
There are bound to be times when you or your significant other does something that the other doesn’t like. Maintaining a healthy dose of flexibility and compassion is going to be key to getting along during these trying times. Every partnership has a structure of roles that runs in the background, but these may need to be reconsidered during quarantine. One of you may be at home all day while the other still has to work, so it may be necessary to redistribute responsibilities to help each other feel supported and appreciated.
Do you and/or your partner need help dealing with COVID-19 related relationship stress?
The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues that may arise from the COVID-19 situation including fears, health anxiety, issues related to isolation and loneliness, how to manage uncertainty and how to increase ones tolerance for the unknown.
At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing.
Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.