Tips for Couples

Over the past months I have asked clients and friends how they are managing the lockdown restrictions. These points came from those who are working from home with their partners, some are also home schooling their children, all  have family and friends  in other states who they haven’t physically seen for many months.  Their ideas and experiences in coping with these restrictions are brave, unique, touching and they’re working for them.  My hope is that you find their tips practical, supportive and inspiring.

1) We go for walks in nature each day and have found things we enjoy doing together like gardening, spring cleaning and cooking.  I’ve noticed we’re having conversations around being grateful for what we have such as the beautiful weather and each other.

2) With the ever growing restrictions and being at home together so much more, we decided to each have a night where one orders food from a restaurant - an entre, main and sometimes desert.  The verandah or dining room table will be set up with candles and good plates and we each get dressed as if we were going out to dinner. It’s become our ‘date night’ and it’s really lovely.

3) We agree that if one does the cooking then the other will clean up, or if one gets out of bed later than the other, then they make the bed. Having these agreements just keeps things on par so irritations don’t build up.  We’ve also discussed just letting the small stuff go. We’ve had to cancel some holidays and both feel sad about that - it’s not a competition as to who is more frustrated or unhappy - we talked about using this time to really support each other.  One day I might be feeling flat, on another my partner may need extra support and we want to be there for each other to get through this. 

4) We have been supporting each other’s individual pursuits - my partner likes mountain biking and I’m learning to play bridge.  I like daily walks with a friend and Simon has lots of projects he likes to do such as finding out more on family history or house maintenance.  I’ve found cooking for friends and neighbours a good way of reducing cabin fever and to feel helpful - “better to give than to receive’. We have a great neighbourhood support group - a Watsapp group where we keep in touch and make sure everyone is ok.

5) We’ve been tag teaming. One person gets stuff done and the other person is doing stuff with the kids (and keeping that fair and even).  We make sure we each have time for exercise.  Getting the kids lots of fresh air and sunshine.  Not having strict bedtimes and morning routines means we could stay up a little later and just chat - which was nice.  I think it helped a lot that we didn't have any coffee or alcohol through our 8 day lockdown too.


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