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The Mood & Mind Centre

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Couples: A Healthy Relationship in Isolation

Posted on 14 May, 2020 at 20:20

Written by Colette Dekker (May 2020) Going from simply living together to spending every waking moment together can be demanding on a relationship. But this isolation is not meant to cause distance between you and your partner, but rather strengthen the bond

Wishing to avoid the drama that comes with constant cohabitation as a result of COVID-19? Try these tips to keep both yourself and your relationship healthy while in isolation.

1. Create routines - individual and shared:

Maintaining some structure to your days can help with sustaining your own mental health, as well as that of your partner’s.

Whether you are working from home or just living together, try to go to bed at a reasonable time and get up the same time every morning.

Having a “together” schedule as well as some personal day-to-day routines is important under isolation.

Create a no-go zone (in the house or in the garden) where you are explicitly allowed an hour of uninterrupted me time per day.

Schedule some joint activities into your day-to-day routine such as a coffee or lunch break together as a couple and/or family. This will give you something to focus on and create the experience of re-grouping after spending time on separate tasks specially if working from home.

2. Spend time alone:

In addition of having separate routines, is the importance of setting aside time to be completely by yourself – connecting with friends and family online and participate in activities separated from your partner as much as possible.

These times spend doing things on your own makes coming together for meals/coffee/relaxation more rewarding as you had time apart engaging in something outside your isolation bubble.

3. Maintain open communication:

Being physically together, doesn’t mean you're spending that time talking and listening.

Uncertain times bring anxiety and sometimes frustration over the situation that you have no control over. To avoid the risk of projecting anxiety onto your partner, talk openly with each other about your own anxieties and be open to feedback.

For serious conversation – find a time and space where you are both relaxed and comfortable and able to talk uninterrupted.

For daily communication - In your schedule set aside a time each day to sit and talk. Write down different topics and put them in a box. Pic a topic from the box each day.

Play board or card games. Playing games encourage communication.

Do a daily gratitude diary at dinner time.

4. Keep date night:

All the times before, with work, home and social distractions, intimacy has taken a backseat, but now could be a great time to rediscover the passion you have for each other.

Have some make-believe fun by getting dressed up. Set the table for two for a romantic dinner with candles and music. Whether you are cooking or ordering a take-out, enjoy some special quiet time together.

Make a bed in front of the TV, pop some popcorn and watch a movie or just snuggle up and have an evening of chatting.


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