7 tips to strengthen your relationship during a pandemic

Love during a pandemic

We’ve all chuckled at least once at the memes depicting strife whilst being in quarantine with your partner.

What makes them particularly funny is the element of truth behind them. 

Comedy has always ventured its way into my life during hard times and no matter how embarrassing or downright cringe-worthy I can always look back and have a real giggle (eventually.

During this pandemic I have had mini melt downs, sat and ugly cried to my partner, yet as cheesy as this may will sound (or look),  being in quarantine has strengthened our relationship and brought us even closer.  

Without mentioning the C-Word, being quarantined can leave you anxious and at a loss of things to do in your relationship. And why I have written todays post giving tips to help you get even closer to your partner. 

With no further ado, here are 7 tips to strengthen your relationship during a pandemic:

  1. Creating time for yourself 

Just because you’re in quarantine with your partner doesn’t mean you have to be joined at the hip 24/7.  My partner and I have much in common and things we don’t. The point is, we all need time for ourselves to do whatever it is we enjoy.

I’m currently writing this post sat in another room, curled up with a blanket. Some days, I lose myself in a book,  whilst he catches up on one of his favourite TV shows or goes for a run.

 

Luckily, we seem to have a sixth sense for knowing when to give the other space. However, if he missed the boat on giving you space, you can easily schedule alone time by communicating this with your partner.  

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Don’t be afraid to take much needed time doing what you love, whether it’s journalling, meditating or binging on Love Is Blind (an absolute must watch!). Don’t feel guilty, everyone needs time and space to replenish their energy. 

  1. Spending time with other people 

Earlier this month,  I was invited to a quiz with a group of friends on Zoom. It was my first time and I had no idea what to expect as such. Two glasses of wine and a few hours later I came away feeling similar to having been on an evening out with my girls. 

We are incredibly lucky in that we have access to apps and technology keeping us connected during this crisis. Imagine how lonely it must have been during the last few plagues? I live 3000 miles away from my family, yet have never been more up to date on the family gossip as I am now. 

Spending time with other people, be it friends, family, colleagues or even speaking in forums has a positive effect on us.  We receive alternative perspectives and this takes away any unnecessary burden you may be inadvertently placing onto your partner. 

  1. Enjoying quality time

 

How did you and your partner spend quality time together pre-pandemic? Our quality time involved lots of food. I have the fondest memories of date nights spent in various restaurants spread across the island. Eating wholesome food, drinking copious amounts of wine and then stopping off at a bar on the way home. Oops! I digress. 

 

Quality time doesn’t need to be sacrificed. Effectively, quality time is putting in that extra bit of effort and requires switching things up a little and getting creative. If,  like me you enjoy cooking and/or eating out, you can recreate an intimate restaurant…indoors.

 

Switch off Netflix, decorate the table, soften the lights, create a new dinner playlist,  get dressed up and sit at the table to eat your meals. 

If eating out or cooking isn’t your thing,  I have included a list below of alternative things you could try: 

List of activities to enjoy quality time

 

Plan a quiz night with home-made cocktails. Don’t forget a forfeit prize for the loser! 

Organise a games night

 

Complete a big puzzle

 

Karaoke night and drinks 

 

Spa night with a massage thrown in 

 

Organise a sexy fashion show

 

Draw or paint each other naked

 

His and Hers favourite themed movie night with popcorn, homemade pizza 

 

Communication 

Okay, there’s nothing more anxiety inducing than a global pandemic. Collectively, hearing the woes of the world from job losses, and xenophobia to constant loss of life will gnaw away at your nervous system and wear you down.

Mostly, this narrative can play out unconsciously in the background rendering you a ticking time bomb.

Your partner will also be carrying around their own “stuff. Stuff which too must be acknowledged and empathised with. And…where communication comes in.

It’s on us to put our hands up and admit our mistakes when we inevitably lose our shit! (and such a relief too)

I  joked at the beginning of this post about ugly crying but vulnerability is what has strengthened our relationship and brought us even closer.  Being able to say:  “I am feeling X, because of Y” not only minimises the worry, but builds intimacy and a deeper connection. 

  1. Getting Fresh Air 

I’m extremely grateful that we live in a small town in the countryside. We are surrounded by crystal clear waters and lots of nature. Thankfully we can still walk around relatively undisturbed by others, ensuring we maintain social distance. At one point I felt extremely isolated and right now it seems almost crazy to think that I thought that way. (smh)

 

 

Most places make way for at least an hour exercise a day and even walking around in your local neighbourhood is amazing for both your physical and mental health. Go for a walk with your partner and ensure you both get plenty of fresh air because it reduces anxiety and depression. 

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Sometimes you may not even realise you need it until you are outdoors and you feel your body responding, or when you feel irritable. Fresh air is good enough but if you live near nature…even better. Get out in it because you will feel rejuvenated, calmer and much more creative.

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  1. Trying new things 

What will you take away from this experience? One of the things we are both embracing about being in quarantine is the slower pace of living. Life has finally slowed down enough to enjoy its moments. 

Right now, everything has pretty much shifted online and there’s a wealth of goods and services to be enjoyed from the comfort of your home. I cannot speak Italian and we had previously had two planned holidays there. My partner is helping me “swot” up on Italian and Maltese. 

Granted, you cannot book a trip away… right now but you can both take a virtual tour around the world. That’s sort of the same thing right? Actually, thinking about it now I’m not sure why these were not widely taken as a rule. Think of all the disappointments we could have saved on (and arguments)

 

Maybe it’s spicing things up in the bedroom or trying a recipe for the first time.  Or maybe… it’s starting something you have been putting off such as sorting out the spare room. Below is a list of new things you could both try together. 

 

List of activities to try together

 

Meditation

Redecorating your home

Repurposing furniture 

Painting 

Gardening 

Learn new languages 

Take a course together on Coursera 

Cook a meal together

Learn how to play an instrument

Start a band (duo)

Create an original piece to perform to friends, family or local communities 

Create a dance routine 

Document your journey together

Start a Vlog 

Take a bike ride / walk

Reorganise your furniture and space 

 

  1. Creating a routine

Usually, creating a routine or maintaining a routine is important but now it’s crucial. The likelihood is that one or both of you are now working from home. I knew my partner worked but pre-pandemic we packed each other off in the morning and I didn’t see him again until the end of the day. Now… he’s my colleague.  

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We both enjoy our slow mornings separately with each of us taking to separate corners of the house to complete our work. How you choose to work  depends on your partner and of course your own working style.  I still try to keep things light and I do flash him or give him a cheeky kiss in the corridor 😉

Working from home with your partner is a new dynamic added to your relationship, coupled with the fact that the whole concept of remote working may also be totally new. Change in itself brings fresh challenges, but this is completely unprecedented. Creating and/or maintaining a routine provides much needed structure think of it as work-life/home balance. 

I hope you find the tips useful and I would love to hear how date night goes. Let’s have a conversation by letting me know in the comments.



Stay safe sane, 

 

 

Love and light, 

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Dionne

xoxoxoxoxo

 

 

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