The challenges we are currently facing are unprecedented – at least within the last hundred years anyway!
We are having to self-isolate with our loved ones 24/7, and our freedom, for now, has been taken away.
Whether you are in a loving, secure relationship or a relationship that may have broken down this is going to be challenging for us all. Even if you are happy with your loved one you may actually spend a lot of time apart and that’s what works for you both, so suddenly being together all day and all night may highlight issues that don’t ordinarily bother you.
The prediction amongst divorce lawyers is that following self-imposed isolation it is very likely that the divorce rate will rise. China has already reported a surge in uncoupling.
To help you get through these next few weeks, and potentially months, I have written this blog to give you some tips on surviving self-isolation with your partner.
Communication is vital, talk to each other. Tell each other what you need and show understanding and support. We will all have different desires and needs so talk honestly and openly and find ways of meeting each others wishes respectfully. You may have different ideas about what will work but understand you are two different people with two different outlooks on life. Just because you are in a relationship that doesn’t automatically mean you will want the the same things.
Talk practically about how you will manage your day, what time you need, where you will have space and where you will spend time together- if you want to!
Create guidelines and boundaries.
Routines provide structure and predictability and they allow you to feel safe. without it there is uncertainty and function slows down.
Decide when you want to get up, exercise, work, rest, eat, go to bed etc. If your times differ compromise or find solutions, you may have to think outside the box.
Once you have a routine, stick to it, then you both know where you’re at.
If you’re having an off day, communicate that to each other, but for the most part stick to the routine.
We all need our own space, and it is more important than ever when self-isolating. This is where we reboot and unwind, and it gives us an opportunity to be with our thoughts and discover what we need. It also allows us to work through our problems more effectively and it can enhance the quality of our relationships with others.
Make a space in your home that is for you, a sanctuary or a safe space. Whether it’s a corner of a room or a whole room, make sure that when you go there everyone knows that is your time and you are not to be interrupted for twenty to thirty minutes.
If you have children they will also have needs. Share these needs between you, the educational support and the down time. Agree on the childrens routine and who is going to provide what and when. That way you know what is happening and the children know too.
Have time on your own with each child, this only needs to be fifteen minutes but even though you are together all day long they still need your undivided attention. Time and attention are different, don’t confuse them.
Remember, not everything needs a reaction. If someone is getting narky, walk away. Take yourself to another room to read, journal or have some quiet time.
There are going to be times when we all feel frustrated, trapped and irritated. We as humans need to vent these feelings or they bottle up. work on finding ways of dealing with your frustrations and get your household members to do the same. However, if things start to get difficult just explain that you can see they’re annoyed so you’re going to give them some space to avoid an argument, that way it doesn’t look like you’re walking away in anger which could aggravate things further.
You both have to take responsibility and make this as amicable as you can. For both your sakes.
As with the children, you still need to spend quality time together. If your relationship has broken down you may not want to do this, but if it hasn’t, this is important to keep the relationship alive.
Find something you can do together to stay connected. Walk, exercise, cook, listen to music, get the photo albums out……. again, think outside the box.
But make this time about the two of you, enjoy each others company and focus your attention on each other.
Do something that brings you joy everyday.
Connect with friends and family regularly. Use video call so you can see them. This will be essential in surviving self-isolation!
Have a positive outlook and mindset, this is far more attractive and makes life far more pleasurable. If you’re both very negative you will bring this out in each other, so work on finding the good.
Take time out for you.
Drink plenty of water.
Get 7-9 hours sleep a night.
Don’t overdo the alcohol.
Divide chores equally.
Start yoga or meditation to help maintain good mental health.
Don’t criticise or judge, we are all different and will have different needs. Respect those needs, whilst they may not work for you they will work for others.
If you have found this blog helpful I have also written one on the challenges of change and how to over come barriers, plus how break-up coaching can help you deal with break-up and divorce. Please take a look and get in touch if I can help you in anyway.