Here's our suggestions for helping your relationships survive isolation:
- Communicate well – recognise that the next few weeks are going to be challenging and that you both need to communicate and to listen to each other.
- 'Cut each other some slack' – don’t let issues build up and recognise that you both have your own individual way of handling stressful situations.
- Count to 10 – instead of reacting instantly, take some time to think about what you think you’ve heard, what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.
- Working from home – if you’re both working from home establish a set workplace and set times to start, finish and to take breaks. At the end of the day tidy your work things away and re-establish your home environment. If only one of you is working from home, then establish work / home boundaries that you both agree on.
- Sharing responsibility for children – if you’ve got young children at home, work out a timetable of who does what and when it get’s done. If you’re both working from home make sure that this timetable is something that you both agree on.
- Maintain a ‘normal’ day – keep your days structured and keep weekends special – wear ‘weekend clothes’, cook a special meal, watch a film…
- Establish new routines – things you do both individually and as a couple and things that are both ‘chores’ and ‘fun’ things. This could give you time to fulfil something that you’ve always wanted to do, but felt you didn’t have time to do…
- Keep talking – check with each other that any new routines are working for both of you and for your family.
- Keep fit and active – any physical exercise, especially morning exercise, releases endorphins that can dramatically improve your mood and energy. Exercise can be something that you do together, or something you each do to establish your own ‘private’ time.
- Family and friends – make sure that you each maintain relationships outside the couple.
- Stay smart – don’t spend all day in your pyjamas! Your appearance can have a positive impact on your mood and proves to your partner that it’s important to you that you remain attractive to each other
If you recognise that your relationship wasn’t in a good place before isolation and that you felt that you’ve needed help getting through the last couple of months, we can provide relationship counselling for both individuals and couples. Our meeting space complies with social distancing for face-to-face meetings, or we can provide counselling sessions on-line (Skype, Zoom, etc), or via telephone. Please call us on 01423 206 816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sessions normally last for an hour, but on-line counselling sessions can be for a shorter time, if you need to coordinate child-care, or to get access to a private space. Please see the main Listening-Room page for information about us and the services we provide, or see the ‘what next’ section for more information about organising an initial session.