“The only constant in life is change.” -Heraclitus.
Boy, are we going through some big change! At times, it can seem like each hour presents a new reality. And for many, that reality is working from home for the first time…and maybe working from home with your partner or even your kids for the first time.
My husband and I have been working from home together for nearly a year, and we’ve gone through our fair share of dancing between the lines of love and fear. Over the past 10 months, there have been days of total bliss – that we finally get to spend all this connected time together. And there were days of total sadness – feeling like we were disconnected and unsure how to get back in alignment with one another. In the end, we’ve always found our way back to love. And I know that happened because we saw each step backward as a new opening to get curious about our needs as individuals and as a couple.
It’s also important to acknowledge that we chose this way of being vs. being mandated into it. So I want to honor that difference and the emotional aspect of choice vs. requirement. There’s a lot more anxiety connected to not having a choice. And you need to honor yourself wherever you are emotionally. And while I’m here to offer some advice, there’s no one size fits all. There are no magic 3 steps to solve all your problems. You can be two coaches in the wellness space (like us) and still have difficulty on the day-to-day. So be kind to yourself and your partner.
During these unprecedented times, we are all going to take steps forward and back. So start moving forward by choosing a mindset that serves you, you have an incredible opportunity to strengthen your partnership while staying safe at home.
So whether you may find it to be the best thing ever or a new hurdle to overcome, I encourage you to consider these 5️⃣ questions as you create an intentional remote workspace with your partner:
1️⃣ Do you get easily distracted or do you like lots of action? If you get easily distracted, consider a space separate from your partner where a door can be closed. If you BOTH prefer action don’t think twice about being physically near each other.
2️⃣ Do you need quiet or prefer background noise? You can always use headphones if you want to be in the same space but don’t agree on the sounds.
3️⃣ How do you reset when you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel refreshed after taking a walk, playing with a pet or even enjoying a cup of tea? Get clear on what you can do to pause and reset when you feel overwhelmed.
4️⃣ What are your pet peeves with work? Do you hate being interrupted? Or maybe it really gets under your skin when people think out loud? Now is a good time to understanding those little things that you can avoid doing to inadvertently annoy your partner.
5️⃣What’s your code word? Agree on a word or action that you’ll respect should the other need it. For example, my husband James, says “marshmallow” if I’m talking too much and he needs a break. It also triggers us to go on a silent walk together or apart to reset.
Have an honest conversation with each other about your preferences and needs BEFORE you get too deep into the remote work. It will set you up for clear expectations and agreements to one another on how you’ll make the most of this time, and even strengthen your relationship.
In moments that can feel like total chaos, keep looking for the opportunities. When you look for love, you will find it. When you look for fear, you will find it too.
So keep looking up – this may just be the time you needed to reset and reconnect with your partner through love.