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Coping With The Cooping Up

By April 10, 2020 No Comments

Livin covida lockdown is making or breaking relationships. If Corona doesn’t take out your spouse, you just might.

“Tracy, you don’t understand. My husband is driving me crazy. His anxiety is through the roof, and he’s in panic-mode. The fear of the future consumes our every conversation these days. Normally, I would give myself some space, maybe have a night out with my friends, maybe go visit my parents. But I can’t. I’m stuck in this house, and I’m miserable.”

The big challenges we are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak is leading to changes in the way we live our everyday lives. Naturally, our relationships will be greatly impacted by these laws of confined living. More pressure is being placed on couples, as relationships aren’t built on the expectation that you’ll be spending all day, every day with that person. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that we’re all dealing with an unnatural situation. The more we can do to treat each other kindly, the better our relationships will be when this whole thing is over. But, that’s easier said than done!

As an Intimacy and relationship coach,I have put together some tips for avoiding arguments and conflict:

Avoiding fall-outs

The worst thing couples can do is lash out on each other. Small things tend to escalate until they are bigger than they need to be so, pick your battles and weigh up if they are worth it at this time. If your partner says or does something to upset you count to ten, taking some deep breaths, or leave the room. Try as hard as you can not to ‘react’. Remember that children will learn how you deal with conflict. Keep this in mind when you are all under one roof together.

Treat each other with kindness especially when the outside world can feel threatening. If you’re getting frustrated with other in the house, it might be an idea to share how you’re feeling by getting in touch with a trusted friend.

Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself requires a sense of self. Even though you’re not exposed to the outside world, you still look at yourself in the mirror. It starts with a sense of  well-being.

  • Eating as well as you can, including as many fresh fruits and vegetables you can, instead of unhealthy snacking. A routine of eating meals together at set times is a good idea.
  • Take some time to exercise or do some stretching, breathing oxygen into your muscles.
  • Take the time to put on a little make-up. You are looking at yourself in the mirror and your partner is looking at you.
  • After a bath or shower, take time to use any body lotion you have available to you. Spray on some perfume.

It is really important for you to feel that self-respect and respect for others that you are living with. Make it a priority to create a routine and maintaining that routine.

Safe Zones

Try to create either zones in your house or rooms where you can have individual space and create times where you can be together and when you can be apart from each other. It’s important to ensure that you have alone time. For couples who are secure in their intimate attachments, this seems to be easily achieved. For others who are struggling with communication, intimacy and anxiety, safe zones or ‘alone time’ need not be seen as rejection. It is important to hug them and give them a time when you will meet up again. However, for couples who tend to battle with attachment, partner lockdown may feel claustrophobic. Give this person more space with kindness.

Fear management

Being in lockdown with a partner in an epidemic could easily escalate feelings of anxiety and panic. This leads to more irrational thinking. As the intellectual brain conjures up the worst case scenario, so the person becomes more focused on the future and less on the present. They become completely disconnected to themselves and their emotions. Of course the worst thing you can say to someone in this case is “don’t panic”.

Rather suggest some short meditation exercises of only 5-10 minutes. Deep breathing helps to centre the mind on being present. This will activate the parasympathetic nervous system which releases stress and anxiety. My advice to combat this: set up couple routines , like meals together, fun  couple activities, like reading to each other, playing games, Netflix, sharing podcasts, music or Chatting with friends /family on Zoom.

Oxytocin

The cuddle hormone (oxytocin) has been shown to promote bonding between partners and lower stress and anxiety, and if there was ever a time that married couples need to de-stress, it’s now! Watch a movie and sit in each other’s arms. Give each other a foot massage. Sex is a great way to keep your emotional intimacy strong during all of this COVID19 chaos.

Make it fun!

One of the reasons couples are having such a hard time with the coronavirus lockdowns is because of boredom. Combat this by finding new ways to have a date night inside or on your back porch. Have some wine and ask each other questions about life, play games together, have a candlelit dinner, or cook a meal, share a bubble bath, and, most importantly, make time for romance! Get out of your comfort zones and actually DO something different. Communicate, communicate, communicate!!!!!!!

Practice self-love

Go into a different room of the house where you know you won’t be disturbed. Tell your family you need alone time for at least 45 minutes. Practice self-love. This is how: Light some candles, burn some incense or some delicious smelling candles. Dim the lights. Put on some sultry music. Take some coconut oil or some massage oil and give yourself a massage. Reach all those intimate places and be your own lover.

Other ways to practice self-love are: read a book. Journal or write a story. Learn to play an instrument. (that guitar that’s been sitting in the corner for years). Do hobbies that you love. Learn a new language. Do anything that will focus your attention on JUST YOU! These things will make you happier and feel fulfilled, which makes you a better person for your partner or spouse to be around. If you need some self-love ideas- visit my Instagram page @Totallymetracy