Well. Who knew that the 2020 “year of abundance” would turn into a year of craziness and isolation, thanks to a pandemic? If you’re stuck in lockdown or full-on quarantine with another adult, tensions have probably gotten high a few times already.
It’s totally understandable. We’ve literally never been through something like this so it’s incredibly stressful. To help out, I’ve compiled the best ways to get along during quarantine.
The last thing you want is to come out of this isolation period with ruined friendships, broken relationships, and hurt feelings. It’s already hard enough right now. With a little effort, it’s absolutely possible to get along during quarantine and even strengthen that relationship!
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Agree to a Schedule If Sharing Work Space
This is crucial if you and your boyfriend or roommate both work from home right now, but you only have one office space in the house. Neither one of you have a more important job than the other, but one may have more specific needs. Video calling vs. working on spreadsheets can require different things such as a more quiet space without background photo bombers.
- Have a discussion together and review each other’s schedules for the week.
- Identify who has scheduled video or phone calls.
- Decide which hours of quiet-time work suits each person best.
- Agree to the schedule you come up with that covers both person’s needs.
One of you might be more than willing to work on the couch most of the time, but if you find it’s too distracting after day four, then take another look at how you can share your work space together.
Setting a mutual schedule for using the same space during the day will significantly increase your chances to get along during the hours you were normally out of each other’s way at work.
Maintain Each Other’s Boundaries
Let’s say you’re quarantined with a roommate or friend. If you don’t normally share all your food, then stick to that rule right now unless you specifically state otherwise. When tensions are already high about food and hygiene items, it’s important to respect the other person’s wishes. So, ask, before you eat those delicious Milano cookies or all the vitamin-packed protein powder.
If you’re in isolation with a boyfriend or husband, respect that your partner may not suddenly want to increase the amount of physical touch that you need. If physical touch is one of your love languages, it’s totally common to increase that need when you’re stressed. The trick is, if your boyfriend isn’t big on physical touch and closeness, it can quickly lead to irritation and arguments.
In both of these examples, the key to getting along is to verbalize your expectations so the other person understands what your needs are right now.
One of the biggest ways to not get along during quarantine is to suddenly overwhelm the person you’re living with by wanting to do everything together. (Introverts, you may not understand this, but it’s a thing for extroverts!) In one fell swoop, your whole world has been shifted upside down like Stranger Things. Nothing is the same.
You used to interact with lots of people at work, get smushed with a bunch of strangers on the subway, check out the hot bro at the gym (ok, maybe not), or stand in line with the morning crowd at Starbucks. In your need for human interaction, be careful that you don’t demand all of it from the sole person living in your space.
A healthy relationship thrives when each person has things they love to do independent of each other. Keep doing that now. You’re still an individual who is separate from your partner.
Watch your guilty-pleasure show by yourself. Let him play his video games. Make your lunch when you want to eat, even if he doesn’t. Take time to be alone and practice your self-care. You’ll get along so much better if you’re not always stuck together!
Plan Special Evenings
If you’ve never worked from home, the prospect of working in your pajamas all day is probably thrilling. However, consider how dressing down reduces your will power to put in effort at something or place value on an activity (yes, even work).
So here’s your challenge: decide at least once per week to dress up and have a fun dinner and game night together. Doesn’t matter if it’s just mac and cheese. The point is to set aside time that is dedicated to each other just as if you were going out on a date in town. Make it a bit more special. Use your fancy plates (like this gorgeous set) or napkins and sit at the table—not in front of your TV!
Trying this once or twice a week will increase your chances of thriving in your relationship right now, instead of just surviving. And, yes, you can do this with your roommates too! Get along during quarantine by pretending you’re not in lock down.
Get Some Fresh Air
I’m fairly certain that all the shelter-in-place orders allow people to go outside for walks. As long as you’re not under strict quarantine, then this is perfect for helping you get along in your relationship.
The benefits of getting outside are great whether you do it alone or with your partner. Why? Because breathing in fresh oxygen literally boosts your immune system and awakens your mind and body. You can soak up that great vitamin D that most of us are deficient in. It’s also amazing at boosting your mood and productivity!
If you can’t get outside, then turn on your fans and open your windows wide. Get some fresh air circulating into your house. Walk quickly around your living room to simulate an outdoor walk.
Nature is life’s great balancer. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or cramped, or stuck, then take a breather outside.
Yeah, I know. It’s everyone’s least favorite word. But it’s true. Being in close quarters for 24/7 is a great recipe to make anyone get on each other’s nerves.
If you want to get along during quarantine or self-isolation, then make the decision to stop yourself when you get angry or irritated with your roommate/boyfriend/husband, and give them a little space. The Golden Rule applies perfectly here: treat them how you want to be treated.
Choosing to stop quick reactions when someone annoys us can mean the difference between enjoying each other in close quarters and not. When we practice patience, we stop passing judgement for a few moments and choose to see the bigger picture. It lets us stay centered in the moment. Is the spilled drink the end of the world? No. So don’t let it create the end of your relationship.
Armed with this list of the best ways to get along during quarantine or self-isolation, you’re ready to keep your relationship healthy and thriving!
Make sure to share this post with the other women in your life! Sharing is caring!