Love in the time of coronavirus, is a rapidly developing conversation among those sequestered away with our partners. I mean, when was the last time you spent 24/7 together with no break? We both work from home anyway, but my husband usually travels every couple of weeks, so 24/7 is new to us too. To add to this, we live in France three months of the year for our work, and we got here just a few weeks before everything came to a standstill, leaving us stranded in France until the end of May. I know, I know, France right? But I’m missing my own kitchen and all my equipment, and my mountains where I could at least be out wandering. Here, we are on strict lockdown. Grocery, exercise and doctor only, with one caveat, you have to do it all alone!
That being said, however, at least we are safe, and possibly safer here than we would be in the USA where it seems peeps are slow to take this seriously. I hope all of you are staying safe from the virus, but I thought maybe I should share some tips on keeping your partnership safe. By the way, these work with your kids too, and for single parents alone with kids. Here goes with some Love in the time of Coronavirus ideas:
1. Hug each other.
I mean seriously hug, till you feel each other relax. Physical contact is important for our well being. Put the bear back in hug!
2. Share the workload.
Being home 24/7 means there are a lot more dishes being used, and if there are kids in the house, a lot more stuff being left around, and probably not just by the kids. Pick up and tidy together, or take turns, but include the kids. It’s a good time for them to learn what it means to pitch in together as a family, including, if not especially, teens!
3. Spend time talking to each other.
No yelling. No complaining. Talking. And again, if you’ve got kids at home, have them join in too, though be sure you get some adult only time as well. We have the Intimacy deck from BestSelf for sparking conversations and they even have a Little Talk deck for conversations with kids. Personally, I love the Edison Deck.
4. Set up separate work spaces and respect them.
If you have kids at home, take turns seeing to them while you each manage some alone time for work. If the kids are old enough, get them in on the work space idea and let them set up their own “home office.” Make a list of things they can work on in their office space.
5. Set a time for morning and afternoon breaks, as well as lunch.
During our break times we usually have tea together and talk about what we are working on, or what crazy news report we read while pretending to work. (Personal favorite!)
6. Take time to exercise.
Get outside. Bundle up if it’s cold, but get out of the house and soak in some sunshine, or let the rain fall on your heads. Whatever the weather, being outside is good for the heart and soul, (and you can be by yourself.) Can’t get outside? March, walk, run, dance, just move, all around the house. Freak everyone out. Get them all moving. When I was a kid, my auntie led us in the bunny hop all around the house, to get us to bed.
7. Prepare meals together, and again, if kids are at home, have them help too.
If your family eats out a lot, this may be a challenge. Maybe everyone can learn to cook? (I just googled online cooking classes. There are lots! And feel free to ask me questions.) Or take turns making meals? Cooking together, might seem like a hassle, but if one person does the cooking maybe the other does the clean up. My husband is playing sous chef right now, which entails throwing things in the trash, pouring the wine and keeping me entertained.
8. Be kind to each other.
There is nothing more important. Today is all you have. The past is the past and there is nothing to be done about it. Tomorrow is yet to be. So live TODAY.
I hope these tips help. My husband is my best friend and we love to talk to each other. If you are in a struggling relationship, this could be a crucial moment for you both. I hope it will be one that allows you to grow and work on, either the relationship, yourself, or both. I know how tempting binge watching shows or movies is right now, but this could be your time to really think and plan. Read some good books. Try keeping a journal. Writing is the best way to implement changes in your life. Most of all, have some fun. And yeah, watch a movie or two. These are serious times, but Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning (please read this if you haven’t) advocates for humor at even the darkest times as a “lifeline to sanity and survival.”
PS: (I’ll post some Love in the time of Coronavirus “take care of yourself” tips next time for all the people doing this alone, but also for those of us needing a little alone time.)