We have all heard “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.” Where does it say “through COVID, and months and months of endless quarantine time together”?
The day you got married you were so in love. Love was crazy, love was butterflies in your stomach, love made your heart race, love got your palms sweaty, love was the most amazing feeling where you felt like you were flying without actually buying an airline ticket. But you also knew love was a lot of work, patience, effort and it was about learning not to sweat the small stuff. Through this pandemic, we are realizing just how much much of the latter we are having to work on.
With several months into the unknown of this pandemic, a lot of relationships are being tested. The newness of spending all this time together is quickly fading and turning more into “please can I just have a few minutes alone?”
[Read Related: 4 Date Ideas if You’re Quarantined With Your Partner]
All this togetherness over the weeks, or should we say months now, has got you feeling overwhelmed. You were used to waking up early or having a quiet lunch or reading a book after you tuck the kids into bed, and basically just having a little bit of “me” time. But now you are working on balancing kids at home, online schooling, putting together 3 full meals a day, constant interruption during work, cooking, cleaning, laundry and the chores just seem to be endless. You are ready to go back to life the way it was a few months ago, but there seems to be no end in sight.
It’s been a tough and rough few months and relationships are being challenged, so we need to find ways to strengthen these bonds.
Here are 4 quick tips to keep your personal self and relationships healthy:
Talk to each other and let the other one know if you need help with something. Instead of saying “you never do something, say “I would love for you to help me with this.” Keep a check on your tone to ensure that you are not coming from a place of anger or frustration. It’s okay to ask your partner to let you have some private or “me” time.
Build connections with people outside of the home
Make time to have that Zoom celebration for your friend’s birthday, do a virtual book club with your girlfriends, or even as couples. As much as you are tired of these virtual hangouts, it is important to keep those connections alive.
[Read Related: The Emotional First-Aid Kit: 6 Ways to Manage Anxiety During the Coronavirus Pandemic]
Add some fun to your daily lives
Maybe cook a meal together, plan that picnic in the park, take a sunset walk, exercise together, go hiking, play a board game, start a family book club. We just started our first book as a family.
Plan the upcoming week on Sundays
Work together as a family to sit down and plan the week; be it dinners, who is helping the kids that week with homeschooling, letting the family know if you have any major deadlines coming up at work, groceries, et cetera. Planning takes out the unknown for yourself and the family and relieves any last-minute frustrations. It also lets the family know where they need to step up.
We as a family have been working on all of these and they seem to keep us smiling daily, but I have to say that it is a work in progress.
In the South Asian community, we have to be better: we particularly struggle with communicating with our partners, reserving time for ourselves, spending genuine time with our kids, and also removing the focus on four item-meals, 3 times a day. So as the unusual time together continues, let’s work on our relationships and ourselves.
Relationships take effort, work and commitment. With this pandemic, we are realizing just how much, especially amongst the South Asian community. So, take it one day at a time and focus on small tokens of love and unsaid gestures that make your partner and your other family members feel appreciated.