In the first quarter of the year, the world has gone mad. A pandemic has emerged, and it has affected millions of people. The Coronavirus has made its noise to the local news, and everyone is badly affected. Every country has been on lockdown, and you’re only limited to go around your house for months, to make things worse. You can’t go out, you can’t see other people, you need to practice social distancing of at least 6 feet, wearing a face mask has become mandatory, and you need to wash your hands every time you touch something in public. It has dramatically affected everyone’s lifestyle how they live their life.
With implementing the lockdown, people cannot see other people even if they’re a vital family member. As much as you wanted to see them, avoiding mingling with other people is ideal as they might have the virus, and they don’t know it due to being asymptomatic. With that, not seeing each other physically can be extremely difficult and cause anxiety. There is anxiety counseling for COVID season that could help you out since this is truly a difficult time of the year.
In line with this, not seeing your family, friends, and romantic partners can affect your relationship with them, especially when you can’t physically be with them. Listed below are the things on how COVID might have affected your relationships and how to manage it:
Less Intimacy with your Spouse
A study shows that 34% of married couples living under the same roof have been in conflict more and have decreased intimacy with each other. Most married people aren’t used to being with their partners 24/7, which could take a toll on them. Even married couples have never experienced being with each other for a whole week as they’re usually too busy with their work and other errands.
Being together all the time can spark annoyance as there could still be habits that your spouse does that you don’t know, or you just have to deal with since you’re on lockdown and can’t get out for a short pause. Even if you love each other, there’ll be moments that you’ll forget this as you’re too comfortable with one another, and intimacy isn’t always on the table.
While you’re always at home, it could build conflict as you don’t have the same opinions and process with how to get things done. Say, for example, you’re both working from home, and you have a toddler who just wants to play with a parent all day; as you have the same working shifts, it might cause conflict on who should take care of their child so one could continue working peacefully. It could be a never-ending battle.
Conflict with Family Members
During the lockdown, your family members, especially your parents, might demand that you visit them more often since they can’t go out and see you. As much as you want to do it, it’s the best idea that you don’t go out of your house as you might catch the virus, even if you know who the person is. When you decline their offer to visit them or to see you, the conflict would be present as they could think that you’re ignoring them or you’re disgusted with them.
Conflicting with family members can be a challenging situation to be in, most especially when they demand to see you even with the virus present so that they could be happy. Having them demand to see you can be more challenging if you have little children with you as you only planned to keep them safe during the pandemic.
Less Communication with Partners
If you’re not yet married, but you’re in a relationship with your partner, you might find communication being a challenge. Since you both can’t see each other physically, all you can settle for is exchanging text messages, phone calls, and video calls. Doing those should be running for months, and if your relationship isn’t strong enough, it could break your relationship.
Not seeing your partners in person can be challenging, most especially if your love language is physical touch, and cannot happen until the COVID-19 virus is still present.
It could add more difficulty to your relationship if one isn’t being as responsive and assuring as the other. There’s a study that there’s a rise of virtual affairs during lockdown to fill their excitement and sexual intentions to other people. Since people are limited to their own homes, they might look for different ways to spice things up in their home. As they’re tired of talking to the same people over and over again, they might initiate having an affair with other people so that they could keep their selves entertained. While this is an awful possibility, there’s nothing that you can do about it. If they want to cheat, they will cheat.
Less Bonding with Children
If you’re living with your children, you’re probably with them 24/7, and they won’t just leave you even for a minute. While that can be fun, it might cause you annoyance, most especially when you’re working from home as well. As much as you want to bond with your child while they demand to, you have to focus on working as you need to put food on the table. Plus, you’re lucky enough to continue to have a job since a lot of people lost theirs due to the pandemic.
Along with working from home, you have to do household chores such as cooking, laundry, cleaning, and cleaning your house almost every day. It can be very exhausting, and you might not have enough energy to bond and play with your child.
It can be a difficult time for your child, too, most especially if they’re an only child and have no one to play with someone.
Less Happy with Yourself
Above all of the relationships that you have, your relationship with yourself can also be affected. If you’re a person who just loves going out and usually spends your weekend going to the beach, dining out, watching movies, or hanging out with your friends, you might find the lockdown period a challenging situation to be in.
Studies have shown that more people have developed anxiety and depression during the lockdown as they’re limited to what they can do. It can make them feel like they are trapped, and the world is coming to an end.
This year has been a rough time for everyone, and people are handling it differently so we should be kind to ourselves.
How to Manage Your Relationships
While your relationships have been greatly affected by the pandemic, there are ways on how you can manage them. Just because you’re on lockdown, it doesn’t mean that you have to live with it and limit your creativity. You should take care of your relationship with everyone, including yourself as well. Here are the ways on how you can have a healthier relationship during the lockdown:
- Get Some Alone Time
During the lockdown period, you’re most likely to be with your partner all the time, from the moment you wake up to the exact moment as you both sleep. While that can be fun, it can be dreading for some as people feel that they’ve lost their individuality.
To manage this, get yourself some alone time and do something that you enjoy doing. You could binge-watch your favorite TV-series, experiment with food, play games on your computer or console, draw, sing, workout, dance, or even try new hobbies.
Giving yourself some alone time once in a while is healthy as it could help you get refreshed and put you right back on track. In line with this, you should give each other alone time and not limit it to yourself. Both of you are experiencing challenges, and getting some alone time would help both of you be sane during the pandemic.
- Communicate with People
You must communicate with your partner about what you’re feeling instead of bottling it up to yourself and expect your partner to help you out when they have no idea that you need help. You shouldn’t expect your partner to do something for you when they don’t know you want them. It’ll just leave you disappointed without your partner knowing it.
Along with this, you should try your best to keep in touch with people around you, most especially with your family who is far away from you. There are tons of ways to communicate with people, such as video calling them and catching them up with any news or happenings that have occurred. Always keep your communication lines open as that’ll be the only way to stay in touch with other people aside from those living in the same household.
- Create a Routine
Since you’re most probably at home 24/7, creating a routine could help you be more organized with the at home life. If you’re working from home and have a child studying online, you need to make a strict routine on how you can fulfill all of your duties effectively without being stressed out.
If you have flexible working hours, you could wake up early in the morning to do your work, or you could work on a graveyard shift to get things done without any distraction. If there’s still time left, try to take a quick nap until your family wakes up. When they’re awake, you could prepare them their breakfast and accompany your child with their online classes just in case they need help or homeschool them. During your free time, you could ask your spouse to look after your children while you catch on with your sleep. Having a routine practiced will help you get things done immediately and according to plan. Just make sure that you’re creating a realistic pattern that still allows you to take enough rest.
- Do Things Together
During the lockdown period, you might feel confined to doing things on your own that could limit your bond. As you cannot go outside to do something together and have a little fun, you can do things at home and earn that intimacy.
You and your partner could try cooking together, playing with your child together, play games on your console and see who wins, re-decorate the house together, to name a few. There are many things that you can do together that could help improve your relationship with one another. If you have different hobbies, you could try to learn theirs, and they can know yours. It can be an excellent skill to learn, plus, you’d be spending more time together, learning new things. It could be a fun experience for both of you as long as you have fun and keep an open mind.
- Focus on The Present
With the COVID pandemic happening globally, you might get anxious about what will happen in the next few weeks, months, or years to come. You’ll always be worrying about your future, and is this what you have to deal with permanently. With that in mind, you should try to slow down with thinking and focus on the present. If you continuously overthink the future that’s bound to happen and keep on nagging your partner about it, they might get annoyed as it’s a problem that you should be worried about once you get there. As much as you want to prepare for things to come, the best way to be ready for the future is by being financially stable.
For now, you should focus on the short-term plans while the world is still under the pandemic. You should only focus on managing working from home with your children, how you can help with their online classes or homeschooling, and how you can divide the household chores effectively. As much as you want to prepare, the future is unpredictable, and the best way you can do is to save up so you’ll have enough for the future.
COVID has affected our lives immensely. Our usual routine has changed, and we have to adapt to the new normal. We have to be confined in our house and look for ways to keep ourselves sane and maintain a good relationship. While it’s a difficult time, you can make things work as long as you and your partner are willing to make it work. Having a successful relationship goes hand in hand, and if ever one falls apart, you can always seek counseling so they could help you cope with the pandemic.