BY PUJA GUPTA
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Being in close proximity 24×7 due to restricted movement outside may create strain in relationships. Experts believe that just as the Coronavirus pandemic increased divorce rates in China and the rest of the world, it seems like India, too, could face this psychosocial crisis after months of lockdown.
Rahul Krishnan, co-founder of Bold Care, a digital men’s wellness platform, says that couples should utilise this time to rejuvenate themselves and their relationships. He suggests a few ways how couples can make the most of this period.
Find Balance In Your Relationship
The greatest friction during lockdown is when one partner or both the persons are anxious. The balance of power shifts when you’re both working from home. Remember to be patient and accommodating. To keep things pleasant in the long term, create a work schedule. During working hours, treat your partner just like you would treat your colleagues. When work hours are over, remember you’re at home, with your loved ones. Being able to distinguish your role through the day is a habit formation that goes a long way in strengthening relationships.
Make Time For Yourself
Being in constant contact with the same person for days on end can lead to frustration and irritation – for both of you! Making time for yourself to be alone is important, and it helps you to decompress and process your emotions. Take a little longer with your bath and grooming. Read a new book, re-read old favorites, or listen to a podcast. Spending time alone could be as simple as lying down, with no compulsion to make small talk.
Exercise is a good way to get some alone time while also keeping yourself in shape. The endorphin rush that your body experiences during exercise is a great mood booster. Stretches and floor exercises are a good way to start. If you are missing your gym sessions, try exercises that use your own body weight such as pushups, pull-ups, squats and planks. Household items such as bags of flour, backpacks and water bottles can substitute weights. If you have space, there are plenty of dance exercise routines that you can try.
Reconnect With Your Partner
The lockdown opens up the possibilities for greater intimacy. Take this opportunity to reconnect with your partner. Unplug social media for a while and talk to each other, and check in with your partner’s feelings and fears. Make a work-at-home schedule so that you can spend more time together.
Board games are great at bringing people together. Some people might enjoy the mental intricacies of Chess and Scrabble. Others prefer the simplicity of Ludo, Snakes & Ladders, or Carrom that still hold their appeal across generations.
Lend A Helping Hand
This is the best time to collaborate on chores around the house and help each other out. Be willing to try out new tasks to the best of your abilities, and be mindful of what needs to be completed. Even a small attempt on your part goes a long way in easing both your workloads, and doing chores together can become a productive way to spend quality time.
Living In A Big Family
Larger families in lockdown together have made it difficult for couples to find their own space. If possible, go out for a short walk together and make grocery shopping a couple’s activity. Use your phone to keep personal conversations going and try out new ways to be intimate.
Mend Your Relationship
For couples in strained relationships, this lockdown is a good time to talk things out. Social distancing sparks an “us against the virus” instinct which is great for relationships. Focus on getting through this with your own and your partner’s mental and physical health intact. Co-existing, being kind, and extending compassion can heal rifts. If you have children, spend time doing simple activities that they enjoy. Make time to talk about their feelings and troubles and remember to give them their own space and privacy.
Staying Connected To Family
Scheduled video calls can make everyone feel connected easily. Keep in touch through messages for the rest of the time. But also remember that if you feel stressed, you’re allowed to take a break from social media. Mute notifications on apps when you need some peace and quiet, and change your status to indicate that you’re taking time off. Always keep your phone available in case of emergencies.
Locked Down Away From Each Other
Many couples have been separated and stuck in different cities. A situation like this is always difficult and especially more stressful in these tough times. This is a good time to recreate the initial days of your relationship with intimate texts and long phone calls. Distance gives us newer perspectives and new opportunities to explore intimacy. Analyse your role in your relationships and see how you can better meet your partner’s needs and expectations, and they yours.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)