The coronavirus has caused most Americans to shelter-in-place, with 95% of people in the country under some kind of lockdown order. Millions of people are working remotely from home, while others are looking for a job, local officials like Mayor Cooper have released statements to keep Nashvillians informed on what steps to take to stay safe, and people are learning more about the ins and outs of COVID-19 every day.
To say this virus has changed most people’s way of life would be an understatement. But it can also have an impact on your relationship. If you live with your partner, you’re probably spending a lot more time together, especially if you’re working from home. If you live apart, you might find it hard to feel as connected as you’d like to, even if you’re able to talk every day.
So what can you do to stay connected as we all continue to adjust to this new way of life? Whether you live together or apart, there are plenty of things you can do to keep from going stir-crazy and to actually strengthen your relationship.
Learn to Love Local Life
It’s important to look for the silver linings in this pandemic. The good news? While many businesses and restaurants may be closed, there’s no rule that says you can’t get outside and go for a walk. In fact, getting out of your regular routine (and out of the house) can help to boost your spirits. Studies have shown that simply being outside can help with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
It’s the perfect time to explore your own city with your partner. Many restaurants are offering takeout options, so why not get something from your favorite spot “to-go” and take it to a local park to enjoy together, if your parks aren’t closed to the public? It’s a unique way to make simply taking a walk through the city feel more like an actual date. Finding remote places to hike or explore right in your own neighborhood is also a great option if you’re feeling more adventurous.
If you want to make a day out of it, get in your car and prepare for a road trip around your city! Play the role of tourist by driving past some local hot spots, drive through neighborhoods to check out interesting historic houses, or head out to the country to feel more connected to nature and spend a few hours stargazing.
Try Something New Together
If you live together, you might be finding yourselves getting stuck in a bit of a routine each day. Once you’ve binged-watched Tiger King together, what else is there to do?
One way to break up the monotony is to try something new or even learn something together. If you’re both creative, why not try painting or learning an instrument together? Even if you live in an apartment, there are some instruments that you can play without disturbing others. If you want to stay healthy and fit, develop a workout routine you can do together each day. There are plenty of free exercise videos online for all fitness levels, so whether you want to try yoga or you’re more interested in cardio, there’s something for everyone.
Looking for other unique ways to stay more connected together at home? Try some at-home date ideas:
•Cooking dinner together
•Having a board/video game tournament
•Holding a movie marathon
•Redecorating your house/apartment
•Starting a garden
If there was ever a time to get creative, it’s now. But, in doing so you can actually work together to do things out of your comfort zone. That can help you to encourage and support each other and even bring you closer.
What If You Live Apart?
If you don’t live with your partner and you’re trying to follow stay-at-home orders, it can be incredibly difficult to feel connected. In fact, not being able to see the person you love on a regular basis can cause you to feel lonely and isolated. It can be especially difficult if either of you is going through other major life issues, like a worrisome health diagnosis, financial troubles, family issues, and more.
Using your creativity once again (with a little help from technology) can help you to stay connected every day. Things like FaceTime are great, but if you truly want to feel like you’re still doing things as a couple, try some out-of-the-box ideas like a virtual game night using Jackbox games, or have a Netflix party so you can still watch movies together. You can even buy all of the same ingredients and “make a meal” together over a program like Zoom, and eat it while having a conversation. Is it the same as having an in-person date night? Of course not, but it’s a creative and innovative way to feel as close as possible, given the circumstances.
One thing is for sure, we can all take comfort in knowing this current situation won’t last forever. Try to shift your perspective on it to something positive. By taking the right steps and making your relationship a priority, you can make it stronger during this pandemic, and realize how much spending time with your partner actually means to you.
Beau Peters is professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he has learned a slew of tricks in the business world and enjoys sharing them with others who carry the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading and trying new things.