7 Ways to Not Lose Your Sh*t During COVID-19
If you read one more hashtag that tells you to #staysafe and #staystrong, you might snap. You’re not alone, although some may not fess up to feeling the anger stage of grief longer than expected.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many of us are living right now. A lot.
Entertainment outside of the home is reduced to a walk. Again. Leaving your dog exhausted.
The paper goods shelves at the store continue to remain bare, and couples who were used to having time apart at work each day find themselves into week 4 of COVID-19 lockdown.
The funny quarantine memes that got you through weeks 1-3, now have reduced your laughter to a begrudging chuckle.
7 Tips for the COVID-19 Quarantine
So, here are 7 things you can do to combat the COVID-19 challenge and create a home environment where you can still be sort of nice:
1. Want sex? Complete that home project.
There are plenty of memes circling social media about the coronavirus quarantine being the perfect time for men to complete all the tasks they’ve been promising to do “when there’s time.”
Stand in the basement or the garage for 2 minutes and just look around. A project will magically materialize. We promise.
Tackling a home project once a week is a great way to build trust, intimacy, (and you’ll probably get lucky.)
2. Workout together
You may have noticed the plethora of online workouts that are available. You can find everything from stretching and yoga to cardio and weightlifting videos, many of which are free.
Not only will this help you and your significant other keep up your strength and physical health, but it can also help boost your mental wellness during this time, which is something many people can benefit from.
And, there’s science around the positive impact that exercise has on sexual desire, which can be one more motivation to create a workout schedule with your significant other.
3. Start cooking together
Your family may have been in the habit of trying to squeeze in dinner between work and kids’ activities each night, but chances are good you have more time than ever to cook meals together.
You can use this time to explore new recipes that you can try together. You can get the entire family involved so everyone has something to do. Take turns choosing new recipes.
If this isn’t your strong suit, there are plenty of online cooking classes that you can take with your partner. It’s a great way to nourish your heart and soul while trying something new together.
One of our clients (wife and husband) virtually visited all the countries they want to visit by creating delicious meals most reflective of that country.
4. Plan your dream vacation
And while you’re enjoying that yummy meal from Poland, there’s nothing stopping you from planning the perfect vacation for 2021. Grab your laptop and sit together for 45 minutes each night and “visit” a new place. Share what your expectations are for how you like to travel, places you might like to stay (Air BnB, VRBO, or hotel?), and with kids or alone.
One or both of you should write it down. You’ll appreciate the vacation diary when the coronavirus is no longer a daily focus.
5. Stay in touch with your tribe
It’s unrealistic to expect your partner to fill every need in your life. Just because you can’t be with your tribe in person doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected with them.
And so you don’t rant at your partner because they breathed a little too loud, schedule time to chat with a pal face-to-face using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.
This allows you to see their face, and feel more of a connection than you’ll be able to get from a text message. (And not lose your sh*t with your partner whom you actually love but can’t summon that loving feeling right now.)
6. Keep up with “date night”
Just because you can’t leave the house doesn’t mean you can’t continue to date your partner. Plan one day a week where you do something out of the ordinary, so it feels special.
If you have young kids at home, “date night” might not be able to start until after their bedtime. If you have older kids at home, send them to another room with their own activity. Tell them it’s date night, and set clear boundaries for not being interrupted.
If they interrupt, ask if they’re bleeding or have to go to the ER. If they answer, “No, but…” and you hear some lame excuse for another story or water, remind them that date night is not to be interrupted for any reason other than seeing the doctor who will probably give them a shot.
What can you do to be creative with an in-home date night? Can you sit cross-legged on the floor and take turns sharing something that scares you? Can you apologize for an earlier rant that morning? Our “vulnerability colleague”, Brené Brown reminds us: When we are vulnerable, we increase connection and intimacy.
7. Make space for a little alone time
Just because you’re all doing coronavirus quarantine together doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. It’s not only okay to take time for yourself, it’s necessary. And because you didn’t get all the stuff done you wanted to, don’t sweat it.
If you’re not as great at the new homeschooling routine for your kids as you’d like, be as kind to you as you would your neighbor.
Ladies, treat yourself to a home Mani/Pedi. Text or FaceTime with your college roommate.
And, make sure to respect your partner’s alone time as well. Sports reruns are possibly the only option right now. Let men have time to do the project they want to do, not the one on your list.
Remember this is a temporary new normal.
- Can you take the time now to write down the pros and cons of what COVID-19 has brought you?
- What services did you assume you needed that you now discovered you could do at home or do without?
- Can you exercise online or do you really need your gym membership?
- Have your tech skills improved?
- Have you enjoyed the family dinners each night, not having to race to one of the kids’ activities to the next?
- Has your meal prep and cooking launched you to be a contender on Top Chef?
- Have you honed the structures and routines of your household?
- Have you found your communication has improved because of more opportunities together?
Recognize that you will not return to the way things were, as we have all been changed by the pandemic. Like 9/11, our world in 2020 has changed. We used to say “Before 9/11…” and “After 9/11…” Chances are we will say, “Before the Coronavirus, I used to shake hands.” “After the coronavirus, I smile in an exaggerated way to let the person know I am happy to meet them or see them.”
We will most certainly have new regulations and standards after the quarantine is lifted. The silver lining is that we have the time to reflect on the choice of how we respond.
Because of COVID-19, we’ve expanded our free consultation to 50 minutes. We’re here to help. firstname.lastname@example.org