- Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
- As a therapist, Morin has counseled many couples through challenging experiences in their relationships.
- With the spread of the coronavirus, there’s a growing chance that you and your partner may be required to work from home.
- This increase of close quarters may be welcoming for some couples, and stressful for others — here’s 5 ways to handle the situation.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Being confined to a small space together can be quite stressful for any couple. But add in the stress of the outbreak of a potentially life-threatening illness, and you might find even further trouble tolerating one another.
Fortunately, there are some ways to help one another get through quarantine. Here’s what you can do to ensure that your relationship survives being confined in a small room together:
Help each other deal with the emotional rollercoaster
From anger to fear, the quarantine will likely stir up a lot of emotion. And you might experience these emotions coming in waves.
You may find yourselves laughing one minute and crying just a short time later. And of course, you’re likely to be bored and frustrated in between. This is all normal when faced with such a highly stressful and unfamiliar situation as quarantine. There’s little known about what to expect, what might happen, or when you will be able to leave.
Help one another ride this emotional rollercoaster. Rather than minimize your partner’s feelings by saying, “Oh there’s nothing to be scared about,” say things like, “I know this is a scary situation.” Just knowing that you’re listening can provide a big sense of relief for your partner.
Focus on being kind and respectful
Any stressful situation can cause you to grow a bit irritable and snarky with one another. But under normal circumstances, you can walk away and take a break. Obviously, you can’t do that when you’re quarantined in the same room.
Make it a goal to treat your partner with kindness — even when you don’t feel like it. Apologize when you are unkind, and forgive your partner for being rude at times as well.
Keep in mind that even though there aren’t a lot of things you can control when you’re quarantined, one thing you can control is how you treat one another. So make it a goal to remain kind and respectful despite feeling stressed out.
Practice healthy coping skills
When you’re quarantined, you won’t have access to many of the coping skills you’ve likely grown accustomed to in managing distress — like walking around the neighborhood or going for a drive to listen to music. Consequently, you might find yourself feeling a bit helpless when it comes to managing your mood.
Fortunately, there are some simple coping strategies you can turn to even when you’re quarantined. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, drawing, listening to music, reading a book, or just pacing around the room might decrease your stress and help you feel better.
Work on managing your emotions so you can be the best partner you are able to under the circumstances. Talk about the skills that are working for you, and offer to assist your partner