Reflections from a Therapist: Relationship Tips during Covid
Coping for Couples during COVID-19: 6 Tips to Keep your Relationship Healthy
The Covid-19 social isolation has had an impact on all of our daily lives. We are staying home and couples are spending more time together than before. While that can be great, it can also be challenging. Trying to balance working from home, childcare, household duties, and homeschooling can cause higher levels of stress and anxiety. This may lead couples to become overwhelmed and frustrated with each other. This is completely normal, especially during a crisis. So what can couples do to relieve some of the tension? Here are 6 tips to help from a psychotherapist:
1. Check- in with each other daily.
Make sure you are checking in with each other daily on how the other is feeling. We get so preoccupied during the day with our schedules, we forget to ask the other how they are doing. Remember, we all process differently, so it is important to understand how your partner is feeling during this pandemic. If you know your partner is struggling this morning, you will be more in tune with them and be able to provide support. If you are having a difficult morning, communicate that to your partner too.
2. Ground yourself with a routine.
Sit down together before the week begins and make a routine. If you have an important video call, make sure the your partner can manage the kids so you can focus on the meeting. Create a list of daily tasks such as who is in charge of homeschooling, daily chores, meal prep etc. If you have other family members or older children, give them responsibilities too. This will help decrease arguments and create an understanding for each other. Work together as a team.
3. Practice compassion and gratitude.
Be compassionate towards each other. There will be tough times and you will make mistakes. If you understand that your partner is struggling just like all of us, then you will more likely to come from a place of love and understanding. Express gratitude to each other even for little tasks at home. This goes a long way and makes your partner feel appreciated and seen.
4. Give each other space
If you are both working from home, try to create separate work spaces. When the other person is working, respect their time. Set time apart to recharge. Use this time for yourself for self-care such as reading a book or calling a friend. For those that have kids, schedule in that time during the day where each partner gets a break to themselves even if its only half an hour.
5. Schedule couple time
Spend time by doing an activity you enjoy together. Try having a date night at home. Take an online cooking or workout class. Connect with one another without any screens or distractions. Those with kids, spend some time together after the kids are asleep.
6. Acknowledge and accept each others differences.
Most importantly, understand your partners feelings and emotions. We all handle stress in different ways and have different reactions in crisis. You may disagree with your partner and you may see a side of your partner that you haven’t seen before. Acknowledge that and accept that is okay. We are all trying our best and getting by, one day at a time.
About The Author
Sania Siddiqui, LCSW I’m a therapist at Olive Branch Therapy Group and a licensed clinical social worker. I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Rutgers University. I’ve been in practice in since 2014..