We’re facing a partial lockdown here in the UK and for many this means spending all our time with our significant other. Arrrggghhh! Really? Again?
Yes, we love them dearly and most of the time we can’t wait to spend more time with them but we’ve just spent five months in each other’s pockets and the prospect of repeating this can fill us with dread. If this is you, you may want to keep reading.
I want to say here that if you are feeling guilty about dreading more time with your significant other, STOP RIGHT NOW!
There are two very good reasons that we feel like this and it’s all completely normal.
The first and biggest reason is fear. Right now, we don’t know what the outcome of this is going to be, we don’t know how long it will last and we don’t know what life will look like when we come out the other side.
The second reason is control, or more specifically a lack of control. We all like to feel some level of control in our lives and having to restrict ourselves takes that control away. When we lose control over our lives we don’t know what the outcome is, we don’t know how long it will last and we don’t know what life will look like when we get the control back.
The third reason is the change in routine. We are, by nature, creatures of habit. We like our routine, it works to make our lives easier and more comfortable, there are no surprises and our routines give us more control over our lives. When our routine changes we lose the control that we have, we don’t know what our new routine will look like when we come out the other side. See where this is going?
It all comes back to fear!
So now we know that what we are feeling is normal and we know where the feelings are coming from, what can we do to help ourselves and our relationships?
The first thing to do is to take a breath and know that you will get through it.
Sometimes we are not supposed to know how things will turn out, just that it will be ok in the end.
If you think about a time when you thought that you couldn’t get through a situation, when it was so hard to just keep going but then you got to the other side of it and wondered what all the fuss was about. You got through that then and you will get through this now.
Try to keep your current routine as much as possible.
All through the first lockdown, I continued to get up at 5am. I didn’t have to, the kids were not in school and I had nowhere to be but it was something that I could still control. What elements of your routine can you maintain during these restrictions?
Find some space.
If you are used to your partner being out of the house during the day, and now they are working from home again, try setting up a temporary office so you can still maintain that time apart. Find some space in a room that you can stay out of, this way they can work in peace and you still get your space.
Make some time for you.
It can be so easy to fall into spending all of your time with your partner when they are at home. While I am a big advocate of spending quality time together, it’s also important to have some time for yourself. Time for you doesn’t include cooking and cleaning time, this is time spent doing something that benefits only you. If this sounds selfish to you, you need to make this a habit!
These are just some of the ways you can make this change easier on yourself and your relationship. I hope you will find these useful and they inspire you to think of other ways to make this time of change a time of growth.