By: Allison Petro, LMHC

Poof!  Just like that, you and your partner are now spending 24/7 together during these odd times of COVID-19.  Quarantine can wear on any couple, no matter who you are or how well you typically get along outside of this pandemic.  Cabin fever mixed with both of you working from home while also trying to homeschool your children (for some of you) will no doubt put some strain on your relationship. 

Here are 4 quick tips on how to survive quarantine as a couple

#1. Be kind and respectful to one another

Now is the time more than ever to be empathetic towards your partner’s rollercoaster of emotions.  In times of crisis, our emotions tend to be all over the place. One moment we are feeling positive and the next we are feeling overwhelmed with uncertainty.

Use kind words and be encouraging whenever possible with your partner. If your partner is having a hard time, pick up the slack on doing household chores or caring for your children. I would imagine that it will be your turn to have a bad day soon, and your partner will have to do the same for you.  

#2. Practice healthy coping skills together

Whatever this looks like for you as a couple, practice healthy coping skills daily! Go for walks together, pray together, meditate together, cook healthy meals together, laugh together, etc. Hold each other accountable to practice self-care so that you can be there for each other on the hard days to come. We can’t take care of one another if we aren’t taking care of ourselves.  

#3. Communicate what you need from your partner

Your partner can’t read your mind!  Communicate what you need from your partner.  Do you need more physical touch, more hand holding, more hugs?  Maybe you need words of encouragement right now, a simple, “it’s all going to be ok.”  Or maybe you just need some alone time.

Figure out what you need and tell your partner.  Ask your partner how you can be supportive to them right now.

#4. Some separation during the day is healthy

Creating some separation during the day is good! Working from different rooms is a good place to start. If this is not possible because you are in a small space, then make a point to spend some time apart each day. 

After some time apart, come back together and do something that you enjoy. Maybe it’s simply having a glass of wine on the front porch and chatting or playing a simple card game together. Now is the time to rediscover why you married each other in the first place (after a number of years, many couples forget this!) 

If you are struggling to cope during this crisis, reach out to Allison at Life Counseling Solutions in Maitland, FL at 407-622-1770 to schedule an appointment.  She is offering virtual sessions during this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

Allison Petro is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in couples, women’s issues, treating depression holistically, and children. For more information about the author visit her full bio here.