The world we all currently live in is different. It’s different from anything most of us on this planet have ever had to deal with. The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread across the world and one thing that is somewhat consistent among our leaders’ message is that in order get through this safely, we need to stay at home. Indeed our leaders, both globally and locally, have issued “stay-at-home” orders. We are all becoming familiar with things like staying 6 feet apart, only going out in public when necessary and wearing masks when doing so, washing our hands and using sanitizer, and of course, staying at home. All this in an effort to “flatten the curve.” This new norm is becoming predictable; however, it is also causing new stresses in families and in relationships.
Parents have stopped leaving the home and instead have been forced to become stay at home teachers to their children. Couples that routinely left the home for work and did not see each other most of the day are now together 24/7. Many are furloughed or otherwise out of work causing even more stress as their financial problems mount. As a result, more and more couples are having arguments which are verbal and sometimes physical. Suffice to say that at this point, most people want things back to normal. They want to send their kids off to school and go to work, go to the gym, go the grocery store and out to eat. The problem is, it is more and more looking like there will not be a return to what we knew as normal.
The questions we are dealt with is how to deal with these problems. Some suggestions are as follows:
1. Go outside. Go for a walk, jog or run. Take a bike ride or play some sports where you can. You would be surprised and how just 30 minutes of exercise per day can clear your head and make you see things in a positive light.
2. Play with your kids. Take some of your extra time to really engage with your boy or girl. Talk to them and try to find out things about them you were maybe not aware of. If they (like a lot of kids) just want to lay around, tell them to get up and go outside with you. Throw the football or ride bikes. If you cannot do that, play with them and their toys. Let them make up stories and try to get into their world. It’s amazing what kids will tell you and what you will learn from them when you get them to turn off the screens.
3. Take a break from your significant other. I’m serious. Separate if possible and have some alone time or Zoom with friends. If you can safely, spend time with a friend by going for a walk or having a 6 foot apart happy hour in the driveway. It is not practical to think that being together 24/7 is good for a couple. Being apart for a little and catching up with friends or exercising by yourself is good for the soul.
4. Do things you have been meaning to do. Watch an old movie with the family. Read a book you have been meaning to read or listen to an old album. You can even make your spouse happy and fix the broken fence you have been meaning to get to. Accomplishing things that have been on your mind but you have been too busy to get to in a while is very satisfying.
5. Change your diet. There is no better time than now to change your diet and eat the way you have been saying you want to. Restaurants and bars are closed so cook at home and google those healthy recipes you have been wanting to try. Fire up the grill or smoker in the back yard and cook for the neighbors. The restaurants will eventually open back up so until then, use the time to experiment at home with your favorite foods.
For some couples, the stress is too real and too overwhelming. Being out of work and out of money is often something that cannot be cured by these tips. And if the fighting is overwhelming or physical, the relationship may be too far gone. Fulmer Law, P.A. is here to help if divorce is inevitable and will always work to find a solution that is in your best interest.