Life as we know and love it has been uprooted. We’re being asked to stay home and avoid people and (in person) social settings, for an indeterminate amount of time. So here we are, isolated with only those closest to us, waiting out this storm of life – trying to make the best of things.
A silver lining in this experience is that we get to spend a lot more time with our partners and families. These close relationships can help us stay sane during these uncertain times, as well as give us the human contact and support we crave with social distancing in place outside home.
On the flip side, we’re now spending every waking moment with those we’re sharing a home with, which can be challenging day in and day out, with no end in sight.
How to Keep a Healthy & Happy Relationship
Start with your mindset
One of the biggest keys to keeping your relationship healthy is to maintain a positive outlook, as difficult as that might feel right now. When we focus on all the negative happening around us, stress and anxiety can take over. This is hard on you, and on your partner.
Instead, make a point of focusing on the positives in your life – no matter how small they are – right now. Doing this regularly can have powerful effects on your mood and your everyday activities.
‘Schedule’ healthy boundaries
Everyone needs alone time once in a while. To make sure constant togetherness doesn’t get overwhelming, actually schedule-in time for solitude. It can be helpful to sit down with your partner (or the whole family), and create a plan that includes a healthy mix of both alone-time and quality family time.
Be sure to respect your partner’s (or family’s) space during alone-time, so they are able to unwind, nurture themselves and reset for more together-time.
Make time to nurture your relationship
While spending more time together, in general, certainly can be helpful for a relationship, it’s also important to be sure you’re spending quality time with your partner. What that means is you’re not just ‘there’ with your partner in body (scrolling through your phone, watching a movie or lost in your own thoughts) – but fully engaged, both body and mind.
Whether you’ve always done regular date nights, or you’re new to the concept, here are some fun ways to spend time with your significant other.
Indoor Date Night Ideas
1. Prepare a picnic
Grab a blanket and spread it on the floor in your home’s coziest room to create a Parisian picnic atmosphere! Set the mood with some candles and/or diffused essential oils, and turn on some soft music. Pour yourself a sparkling beverage, and nestle close as you watch the flames of your fireplace, the sparkling stars out a nearby window, or perhaps a television scrolling through scenic photos of world-famous beaches.
This is a chance to talk without distractions, and really have an intimate evening together enjoying each other’s company – and, of course, some delicious picnic food!
2. Treat each other to a spa-day
With so many rejuvenating DIY skin mask recipes available, you can create your very own spa-day – or evening – for each other. The real fun with this activity is the delivery of each elixir, so be sure to ‘apply with style,’ and don’t be afraid to laugh! Once you whip up your face mask, foot scrub or replenishing hair mask, apply it to your partner with love and gentleness.
Not only will this intimate and light-hearted activity relax your senses and your mind, but it also replenishes your body.
3. Go on a double-date via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom
Who says date night needs to be a solo affair? Invite a couple of close friends to join you via Facetime for an upbeat double date. Pop open a bottle of wine or make some mocktails, prepare some finger foods and laugh the evening away with some of your favorite friends.
To keep the event fun and uplifting, try to keep conversation away from pandemic topics. Take a trip down memory lane, exchange stories about how each couple met and really dive deep into your friendship. And don’t forget to virtually ‘cheers’ each other!
4. Dress up and go ‘in’!
Cook a gourmet meal (or order in!) and then get all dressed up. Don’t stop at clothing, either. Make your dining area feel special with a nice table cloth, your ‘good’ cutlery, candles and more. If you enjoy drinking wine, unleash your inner sommelier with a private wine tasting. Write down your tasting notes, then check them against each other’s, the label or a professional sommelier’s guide. Don’t forget to give your compliments to the chef at the end of the evening!
5. Coloring book, reading or movie night
Not every date night requires extensive preparation. For a low-key date-night, pop some corn, pour some drinks, play some music and pull out an adult coloring book. Coloring is a great stress reliever, and it allows you to stay mindful in each other’s presence, encouraging good conversations. If you’d prefer to leave coloring to the kids, do some light reading together or watch a feel-good movie to keep your spirits up and your mind engaged.
6. Work out, order in, then play games
Low key doesn’t have to mean low energy! For the perfect mix of action and relaxin,’ jump into some active wear and do an at-home workout routine together. Enjoy a nice dinner afterward, then let your body relax while you engage your minds with a puzzle, card game, board game or video game.
Tips for keeping the kids occupied
If you’re parents, you might need to get a little creative with planning date night. If you can’t have the date after the kids go to bed, try these ideas to keep them distracted for a while:
- Turn on their favorite movie (or a double-header, if their attention spans allow) and supply some fun snacks.
- “Hire” your oldest child to babysit the others while you’re on your date.
- Plan an activity (such as their own game night, craft night, etc.) and prepare everything ahead of time so they have what they need to stay occupied for a chunk of time.