How to rub through self-isolation and not spoil the relationship with the loved one? BBC asked the psychologists for some advice.
Do you remember the jokes about the fact that many families will fall apart after a pandemic? Laugh all you want, but now there is really a surge in divorce proceedings in China. Since the beginning of March, an increase in the number of divorces has been reported by the registry offices of more than ten major Chinese cities, according to the Financial Times. Below you will learn about how to maintain a relationship within the four walls:
Introduce moratorium on quarrels
Forced staying at home for more than a month should be perceived as an emergency or even a martial law. So it is very important for a couple to introduce a moratorium on any showdown. You have to live for a month in one space and slamming the door now is not the best time. It does not work either to get to the truth under the stress and uncertainty. So take care of each other as much as possible, as if you have just returned from war.
Find your corner
One of the main mistakes now is to spend all time together. In normal life, relationships are a successive rhythm of meetings and partings that you must strive to maintain. Even in a one-room apartment you need to find your corner – put a flower, hang a privacy screen, turn the sofa to the window, divide the room with a stack of shelves. This place, where each of the partners will do something different, does not signal a relationship problem. On the contrary, it will reduce tension and help avoid conflicts.
So many words have already been said that during self-isolation it is necessary to maintain a good physical shape as hard as you can, but it turns out that this is necessary not only for health. The hypodynamic condition has a devastating effect on our self-awareness and, therefore, on the relationships. Psychologists say that an hour of sports a day reduces the level of stress. Even if you avoided the gym in ordinary life, we recollect that now it’s an emergency situation.
Don’t forget about your appearance
If you shaved once every two days before, you should keep doing the same. If you used decorative cosmetics, you shouldn’t forget about it now. At the same time, our own appearance often becomes a factor of irritation. Not the partner’s appearance, though this is logical, but our own one. Now it is important to pay attention to it as much as in ordinary life.
Maintain emotional health
It isn’t about hobbies rather than appearance. Are you a fan of slashers and heavy metal music? It is better to refuse them in favor of more neutral emotional and even positive content. In an unusual situation, heavy metal music and horror movies can have a depressing effect, even if you used to spend evenings watching horror movies without problems.
Stick to a timetable
Being at home 24/7, we don’t have the structure of time that we used to have. What we mean here is getting up at the same time, going to work / school and so on. Now we need to invent a new timing. What is more, it should more or less agree with the partner’s timing.
As much as we dislike living according to the timetable, we need to make an exception, such as getting up at the same time, trying to have lunch and dinner together. It will help to spend this month (maybe even more) effectively and cope with distant work/study. Besides, it is a good chance to learn something new. Fortunately, there are a lot of opportunities online. The more satisfied you are with the results of your work, the more positive resources you will have for relationships.
If you are still constantly annoyed by your partner and don’t see any joy in a forced staying together, you can help others. The main idea is to do it together. Think of how you can be useful to your neighbors, relatives, charity organizations. If you do this together, it will bring you closer and strengthen the relationship much more than having dinner together and watching TV shows.
Bonus trick: how to maintain a healthy relationship
In the most extreme case, if you can’t endure each other at all and it annoys you that your husband blinks too loudly, imagine that he… is about to pass away. What would you do? How would you feel about him? Would you scream, quarrel or be attentive, polite and careful? These extreme thoughts can open your eyes to what is really important right now. It is important to try to enjoy life and communication with family. In fact, nobody knows how long we will have such an opportunity!