The universal anxiety of our 'new normal' is, without a doubt, the stress of maintaining healthy relationships during the lockdown.
The harsh reality is that there isn't an easy answer: you just have to put effort into finding new ways to spend time with your partner. In the absence of physical touch, for long-distance relationships to survive, you have to get creative!
Here are 5 top tips to maintain socially distanced relationships!
1. Get used to video calls
I know that everyone has an awkward experience with an office Zoom call that went wrong or fear of poor reception during facetime, But, commit to it! Make sure your internet provider is up to scratch, and give yourself time to learn so that it's less scary!
Everyone gets nervous sometimes; just remember that these people are important to you. You both trust each other.
It's worth the effort! Spruce things up to avoid getting bored: sit in a field for a change of scenery!
On the topic of getting fresh air, why not go on a socially distanced walk with them, if they live nearby? It is the perfect mix of getting some exercise during COVID-19 lockdown to strengthen your relationships and your overall fitness!
Even though you're living apart, it doesn't mean you can't still spend time together, not just relying on the internet.
This can build emotional intimacy with your partner away from your house, where you might be more likely to bring up personal topics. Often it's hard to prioritize small things in light of the global issues of the pandemic.
2. Make a day of it
To maintain a healthy relationship, show that they mean enough to you to drive to them for a picnic in the park!
It can be overwhelming to make any plans when we have all acclimatized to staying inside. However, with the right planning and consideration, you can still both have wonderful experiences to keep the romance alive and healthy.
Find a way to engineer more positive, quality time, rather than thinking about the current situation as 'life on pause' or 'wasted time'.
It's still our life; use it!
3. Create new traditions
Stop wallowing in the feeling of missing out on your old life. Concentrate on new traditions that you can make with your partner!
For example, my friends and I have entered into a system of exchanging root vegetables from our gardens every time we meet!
It's sustainable, tasty, healthy, and – yes – a little odd, but it's a way of making new memories! Take up shared hobbies.
It can make you feel more connected and goal-oriented. Relationship experts suggest shared hobbies are the most important parts of maintaining healthy relationships while living apart.
4. Prioritize your mental health
Have a day off from expectations. Forget about how you feel you 'should' be acting, or how you 'should' be feeling.
Take time for yourself, without the responsibilities of thinking about other people's needs. The people who care about you know that we all need time apart.
Just because we can be accessed through our phones all the time, it doesn't mean that we should always be available to people. Learn to prioritize yourself and still have me-time when you're physically separated.
5. Don't overthink it
Don't put pressure on yourself to reinvent the wheel when it comes to planning date nights. Make sure you take turns for ideas and locations.
Remember that you would have a great time with your partner even if you're just chatting in a parking lot. Treasure all the new memories.
Be grateful, be patient, and above all, stay safe.