Those who are not sick with COVID-19 count their blessings, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges ahead for everyone fighting to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.
Being self-quarantined means spending two weeks or longer locked in your house with your partner.
And while most of us were already accustomed to snuggling with our loved one and enjoying hours of uninterrupted Netflix binging, others may not feel so warm and fuzzy about the prospect of spending the next 336 hours together.
There are couples who can’t get enough of each other and then there are ones who need personal space in order to stay sane.
That’s why we’re looking at 6 ways you can avoid a self-quarantine breakup and keep a positive outlook while you’re self-isolating with your loved one.
1. See quarantining as an opportunity
Outside of vacation, how often do we get the chance to stay home as a couple for days on end?
Usually, we’re working throughout the week and may feel emotionally and mentally drained by the end of the day. This exhaustion takes precious energy away from our relationship.
Instead of viewing quarantining with your spouse as a nightmare, why not view it as an opportunity to get closer?
Being under a self-imposed quarantine is a great time to get physical with your spouse and boost oxytocin production.
You can also use your self-isolation as a way to address any relationship problems you may be having.
These can be done from the comfort of your own home at your own pace and help couples learn how communication, traditions, goal pursuits, and intimacy play a role in a healthy relationship.
2. Spend time apart
Being under quarantine is a great time to boost intimacy with your partner, but just because you’re home together doesn’t mean you have to spend 24/7 in each other’s company.
It is healthy to do things on your own, even while sheltering in place.
Couples should spend time each day by themselves doing something they love. Read, practice hobbies, talk to friends, or listen to podcasts during this time.
Not only will solo time bring a sense of normalcy back to your day, but it can also boost mental health.
3. Talk about your fears
Communication is the foundation of all strong relationships, and we can’t think of a better time to talk about your feelings then while under quarantine.
As much as you may want to protect your spouse from negative thinking, remember that you don’t have to be an emotional rock all the time.
It’s okay to say that you’re scared or that you feel anxious about the future. Odds are your spouse feels the same way and by validating each other’s feelings you’ll actually be able to bring comfort to one another.
Talk to your spouse about your fears, your goals, thoughts, and feelings during COVID-19 and beyond. Doing so will boost trust, improve communication skills, and enhance your emotional intimacy.
4. Keep in contact with friends and family
Socializing with your friends and family without your partner present is one way couples maintain a healthy sense of self.
But, what can you do to keep your social game strong while in the coronavirus quarantine?
Being unable to see your friends in person can be a pretty big blow to your mental health. After all, our loved ones keep us happy and sane during trying times.
The good news is that socializing is still possible even under shelter in place orders via the internet. Use your phone to video call a friend or have a group video chat to keep in touch with your loved ones.
Not only is this a fun way to get some solo time away from your spouse, but a study published by the National Institutes of Health reports that “Emotional support from family and friends is associated with lower psychological distress.”
5. Stay informed, but don’t obsess
It’s good to stay informed about what’s going on around the world, especially with regards to the coronavirus.
You want to keep up to date and see what official actions your government is taking to slow the spread of the virus.
That said, it’s important not to obsess over the sickness. Not only can staying glued to your phone alienate your spouse, but it can also contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression.
6. Stay positive and look to the future
If you want your relationship to come out strong and healthy on the other side of being quarantined, it’s important to focus on the positives.
You and your partner are responsible for keeping each other happy and sane during your time in quarantine, so instead of focusing on the uncertainty of tomorrow, direct your thoughts towards things that boost morale.
· Watch positive YouTube videos together
· Have a dance party
· Tell each other jokes and see who can make the other laugh the hardest
· Watch a video about how people are coming together during the pandemic
· Do things that inspire good mental health (yoga, take a calming bath, journal)
· Talk about all the great things you’re going to do after the pandemic is over such as travel, start a family, buy a house, or even do simple things like go for a picnic outside
When you look to the future as a source of happiness you help boost morale in your relationship. Making plans for the future also gives you and your spouse something to look forward to.
Don’t let staying home be the downfall of your relationship!
Keep your relationship strong and healthy during coronavirus quarantine by making good use of your time, keeping up with your routine, focusing on the positives, and boosting emotional intimacy.
If you practice these quarantine tips, your relationship will come out stronger on the other side of this pandemic.
This post is republished on Medium.
Photo credit: Shutterstock