Amidst the chaos of COVID-19, couples have had to adjust their daily schedules, self-care routines, and figure out how to not let cabin fever get the best of them. It’s really easy to get sucked into the news in a time like this and let your mind wander into unhelpful places. Challenge yourselves to take a break and focus on some quality time. Although these restrictions are challenging, use them as an opportunity to grow closer with your partner. I’ve compiled a list of various activities couples can do during COVID-19 to help pass the time.
1. Discuss expectations/boundaries for being quarantined together
If you are now working from home and have to share space with your partner, it can be very helpful to discuss your expectations. “Hey, my job is still expecting me to work from 9-5 from home. Would it be possible for you to take on the majority of caring for our children during this time? That would be really helpful for me!” Save yourself from arguments and spend time discussing how you’d like to structure your time together.
2. Practice Self-Care together
Play a board game (I love to beat my wife at Sorry!), play cards, complete a puzzle, watch a movie, start a new show, go for a walk, play with your pets, or spend time with your family at home. Soak in the added opportunities for quality time together and make the most of it!
3. Go through Old Pictures together
I love looking back at old pictures and seeing how much everyone in my life has grown and changed. It can also lead to reminiscing about fun memories together!
4. Cook together
Work as a team and make a meal together. One partner can teach the other how to make a favorite meal or family recipe.
5. Download the Gottman Card Decks App for Conversation Starters
This app on your phone is an awesome, free option to use for having deeper conversations with your partner. Categories range from open-ended questions (What kind of person do you think our children will become? Any fears? Any hopes?) to engaging in listening skills (What feelings are you afraid to think about?) to questions about sex and also ideas for how to spice things up.
6. Read a book together
My wife and I are currently reading through “8 Dates – Essential Conversations for a Lifetime” by Dr. John Gottman. I have really enjoyed reading it so far. The authors dive into the topics of trust, commitment, conflict, sex, romance, work, finances, family, fun, growth, and dreams. They give you questions to discuss together as you read through. This book challenges me to think about my own expectations for marriage and the rest of our lives together. If you want to grow closer, I highly recommend this book.
7. Discuss Home Improvement Upgrades
Talking about home improvements is something that can be really fun. Walk through your place and assess together how you can work on small projects together. Maybe even rearrange a room or two!
8. Discuss Retirement Goals/Dreams
Discuss and envision what your future down the line will look like. Do you want to live on a golf course in Florida, do you want to move closer to family, or do you want to travel a ton? Spend time making a list of all the things you want to do/accomplish before that point. Crisis situations like these have a way of showing us what is really important to us. Use this new-found knowledge to your advantage
9. LIMIT SCREEN TIME
I know it’s tempting to always check the latest news, but doing so too much can create unneeded stress and anxiety. Unplug for a bit and focus on the moments that you have together. Social media can be an unhealthy place, so try to limit your time on Instagram or Facebook. Feel free to set yourself a timer (there’s an app for that)!
Everyone is struggling right now to manage their mental health and sanity through the ever-changing world. Don’t allow yourself to feel alone in a time like this. Grab your partner’s hand and continue to create awesome memories together. If you’re feeling stuck, give us a call. We offer telehealth sessions, which can make life a little easier right now!
Nick believes that there is no unlovable person (not. a. single. one.) and that everyone deserves to have fulfilling relationships. He believes in always being authentic and loves to have spontaneous deep conversations with others. Nick specializes in working with couples, marriages, and families. If you think you might be having some relationship struggles, Nick is your guy.
At a time when mental health services are more important than ever, Lifeologie Counseling Grand Rapids is offering remote therapy, remote group and mini-sessions, and free 15 minute sessions for front-line workers.