By Larry Sharpe
With the coronavirus epidemic forcing us to spend more time at home, we’ve heard more and more reports of the corresponding rise of divorce rates and domestic disputes. But this doesn’t have to be the case. You and your partner can be happy together, even during a lockdown. With the right attitude and tools, going through hard times together can make a good relationship stronger and intimate connections more meaningful.
The attitude you bring to a situation shapes everything you say and do, and it’s possible to turn a crisis into an opportunity.
Creating stronger relationships begins when you accept the things you cannot change and look for ways to be happier with what you have. You can develop better skills and find new emotional depth to help you handle almost any situation. Adversity can be a source of growth.
I love my family, so spending more time with them makes me happy, despite the difficult times. They are a source of strength and inspiration for me, so I can’t think of better people to be with during hard times.
In order to get the most out of the time you spend with your partner and loved ones, I would like to propose several important adjustments. Keep reading to learn more about my three steps to having a more harmonious life.
When you’re living with others in a small space and you can’t get away from each other, it’s important to have healthy boundaries. That means good communication. When you’re having discussions, make sure everyone involved feels like they are being heard and taken seriously. Managing your time, space, and resources will be much easier when there is a free flow of ideas and information. When people feel like they are being treated fairly, they will surprise you with how hard they can work and the maturity they can express. They will be more likely to sacrifice for others, even if it hurts. It’s situations like these that forge relationships strong enough to last a lifetime.
That said, you also have to take care of yourself and make sure your needs are being met, or you won’t be able to get anything else done. Once you understand what is essential for you, it will be easier to determine what you can sacrifice for the good of others.
Keep in mind that compromise is necessary for any relationship to work. When stressful times come that are beyond our control, everyone has to chip in so we all get through. In order to make progress through difficult times, you have to have a clear plan. Complicated plans are more likely to fail, so look for ways to simplify. It’s also helpful to remind everyone involved that the current plan is temporary and can be changed or adjusted as needed. When you strengthen the trust in your relationships, it’s easier to stretch and see just how much you also are capable of.
When everyone gets an equal say in how they think things should be, then they are more likely to cooperate and support the final plan, even if they don’t agree with it.
It’s like the Rolling Stones say: “You can’t always get what you want, but [sometimes], you get what you need.”
Having the right headspace can help you learn how to maintain healthy relationships and develop the skills you need to thrive in any situation. In order to make the most of lockdowns and increased social distancing, it’s important to go in with the right attitude.
If you have enough energy and motivation, you can find the right headspace and keep your life and relationships harmonious. I’ve found that, for me, focusing on the two following things is really beneficial when I know a challenge is coming.
First, I have to have a plan for how I can recharge, and I need to use it regularly. Everyone’s method of recharging will be different. It could be scheduling regular naps, spending time with your closest friends (even if you have to do it remotely), or working on a cherished hobby. Even going on a date with your partner counts. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it helps you recharge your internal batteries.
Second, once you’re recharged, you need to increase your enthusiasm. I call it “getting high,” and the best “highs” for me come from sharing exciting and stimulating activities with the people closest to me. Again, it’s going to be different for everyone. Some people dance or sing, while others create art or indulge in social activities. Learn what things you can do to get your enthusiasm running high. Make a list, and get creative. Reflect on your list every so often and see if you can expand it and find new ways to energize yourself.
It’s important to stay on top of these activities. They will help you avoid arguments, fights, and other self-destructive behaviors. With everything going on in 2020, you’ll probably need to recharge and re-energize more often than you’re used to.
Physical activity is a great way to remove negative energy and refresh your mental attitude.
While individual workouts are great, partner workouts have a ton of benefits. It can be easier to stick to a workout schedule when someone is counting on you and holding you accountable. The excitement is contagious, and you may find yourself doing more and working harder with your partner than you would by yourself. When your workout partner is also your romantic partner, it can also be a good bonding experience and a source of happy memories, too.
While it doesn’t really matter what kind of workout you do, I personally like to mix things up. Using exercise equipment can be a big help in getting some variety. I’ve used all kinds of equipment, from jump ropes and home gyms to free weights and resistance bands. There are lots of options available to you, so I recommend trying out several options and seeing what works best for you. The exploration itself can be stimulating and rewarding.
If you find there’s a high premium on storage space for you, trying to find room for a bunch of equipment might not be the best fit. If that’s the case, maybe consider the Wonder Core Smart.
It’s very compact and stores easily, which is vital when you are sharing less space with more people and need to keep the clutter to a minimum.
No matter what, make sure you’re getting enough physical activity. It’s more important than ever. The health and mood boosts you get from exercising are very useful in keeping your spirits up and your momentum moving forward.
Learning how to be happy together during a lockdown will make you emotionally stronger and more resilient. These are important life skills and will follow you for the rest of your life and pay many dividends. Your relationship with your parents, siblings, partner, children, and/or roommates will also improve as a result of the things you learn under lockdown.
Even the best, closest families have to deal with occasional drama. As you practice these new skills of being happy together, you will discover fresh ways to rise above the drama. You may even learn how to head off problems before they start.
I recommend investing more time into your social health as well. You might be wondering, what is social wellness good for when you’re locked down and have to socialize less?
Everybody requires social contact to stay emotionally healthy, from extroverts to introverts and everyone in between. Your go-to person of choice might be your best friend or a parent or sibling, or someone else entirely, maybe even a group of people. Remember, just because people are spending less time interacting in person doesn’t mean you don’t need the contact.
If you know how to choose the right friends, you will have social connections that build you up and give you more energy. Now is a great time to learn how to make friends and build stronger, more dynamic friendships. You can then share these skills with others and help yourself and them by strengthening your social networks.
I would like to invite you to make a commitment to improvement today. When you consciously decide that today is going to be better than yesterday, and tomorrow is going to be better than today, you will have taken the first step towards a happier and more serene life. By following the tips I’ve shared, you’ll be well on your way to being happier together, even during a pandemic.