A lot has changed with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an unprecedented event in our lifetime. We have only read about something like this in history books, and we would have never expected it to happen in the 21st century. Among the many things that have changed as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic is the fact that nearly half of the United State workforce is now working from home. And many others are unable to work because of temporary shutdowns to comply with shelter-in-place orders.
If you are one of the many people who now spend most of the time at home and your partner is in the same situation, you may find yourself looking forward to getting out of the house and back to a normal life. You love your partner, but you need time apart, especially when you are trying to work.
Here are a few ways you can work and live together when you and your partner are in the same house 24/7.
You love your partner, but sometimes you need time for yourself and to focus on your work. You don’t want to make your partner upset or make them think you don’t want to be with them, especially if you are the only person they see during their day.
One way you can make living and working together easier is by setting boundaries. If you are working from home, establish working hours and keep yourself accountable to those hours. You and your partner should then respect the hours you set and avoid interrupting each other.
And if one of you is not working from home find activities to keep you busy while the other is working. This would be a good time to get started on the many projects you never finished (or started) because you were too busy with your full-time job.
When your established quitting time arrives, commit to being done with work for the day. Have dinner together, and find something to do together during the evening. By setting boundaries you can avoid making an already tense time even more stressful for yourself and your partner.
Find Activities to Do Together
As a couple, you are going to want to spend time together. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there are many things you did as a couple in the past that you might not be able to do right now.
Perhaps you and your partner can discover new activities that can keep you occupied while together. After work, take a walk around your neighborhood, play card or board games, or watch that Netflix show you were interested in but never got around to actually watching.
Perhaps you can cook a meal together and pretend you are on a romantic date. Sit down with your partner and come up with ideas of things you have wanted to do but never seemed to find the time for them. You certainly have the time now.
Establish “Me” Time
If being with your partner 24/7 is making you feel like you are starting to lose your mind, you’re not alone. Many people are discovering that they need to break away and find time to be alone.
There is nothing wrong with wanting some time for yourself when you are with the same person all of the time, no matter how much you love them. Just like you have created boundaries for your work schedule, talk to your partner about boundaries for your free time.
Keep the communication open, and be honest about when you need time for yourself. Your partner will understand. Your partner may even feel the same way you do and need some alone time, too.
Whether you establish a set schedule or simply signal to one another that it is time to be alone, be respectful of one another’s need to be alone. You will likely have plenty of time to spend together over the next few months, but you also need to protect your mental health.
Need Help Getting Through the COVID-19 Pandemic with Your Partner?
If you and your partner are having an especially tough time getting through this coronavirus pandemic together, perhaps bringing in a neutral facilitator would help. The experienced couples counselors at Keri Powell Therapy are available to help you get through this unprecedented time. Give us a call today to schedule an online appointment.