Nowhere to be, nowhere to go. You're quarantined with your spouse!
How do you maintain boundaries while together 24/7?
Well, it's no easy feat, but it is do-able! So, relax and read on.
Here's how I stay Happily Quarantine With My Spouse:
(In no particular order)
Keep them fed
My husband doesn't "do" the kitchen. When I ask him to take care of a meal, his culinary experience begins and ends with Door Dash. Now, that's fine occasionally, but really, that kind of money is not in the budget. Why do men eat so much? Get hungry so often? UGH!
I make him meals and snacks to keep him happy and from getting cranky. Keeping everyone fed is an easy way to control moods. I like to stock up on some easy freezer meals/snacks for lunches during this time. The way to my husbands heart is through his stomach. bring him an afternoon snack and a cup of coffee is enough to fill his love bucket. And when our tummies and buckets are full, we can have more patience with each other.
Create space for alone time
I am the type of person who loves the company of my husband, but not ALL DAY LONG, DAY AFTER DAY! Distance makes the heart grow fonder, but what happens when you can't create the distance? Find a space in your house to be separated and to work on different projects. I am lucky that my husband likes to play video games because during that time I have him out of hair and can enjoy some peace to work on my blog and to spend time in my garden or whatever else I want to work on. I like cleaning alone and listening to podcasts and reading. I need to have some space to enjoy those things comfortably, which also maintains some normalcy to my days. Claim different areas of the house during this time, or rotate!
Take turns with parent-led activities with your kids
I lead homeschooling with my kids, but I need a break afterwards. So I make sure to include a "Daddy's choice" in the daily schedule so he can lead an activity with the kids so I have both my husband AND the kids out of my hair for at least 30 minutes! Bonus* The ability to swoon over your awesome husband who is teaching your kids something new. Nothing hotter than watching your husband parent, am I right??
Laughter is really the best medicine for the quarantine blues. Joke around with your spouse, watch a funny show- I'm loving Nailed It Season 4 on Netflix right now! Have fun, be silly. Try not to take things too seriously during this time.
Sun and Movement
Humans need sunshine and body movement. If you are getting cranky and irritable, assess if you are all getting enough time in the sun. I like to sunbath by sitting in a chair in my backyard when the sun is shining bright and soaking up the rays for about 20 minutes. Sunshine and body movement does wonders for our physical and mental health. Get outside together as a family so everyone can reap the benefits.
Did you know that on sunny days the brain produces more serotonin which elevates your mood and helps ease moderate depression?
Now is NOT the time for nagging. there is literally nowhere else for your spouse to go. You are all stuck in the same place under the same rules. Maybe now is not the time to bring up the excess video game sessions. If you both can find something that makes being at home enjoyable, than by all means embrace that!
Check out my 5 tips to stop nagging!
Check In Occasionally
Once a week, check in with your spouse and ask them how they're holding up. Are they feeling depressed? Need to get out for a walk more often? Worried about money? Allow time for a space place to open up about feelings.
Now, I've mentioned that my husband has no problem staying in the bedroom and playing video games all day long. I also know that if he spends too much time doing that, he can slip into depression from not feeling productive. So, I try to encourage him to be productive by casually suggesting things he can work on and inviting him to be involved in projects I work on such as crafts or asking him if he'll play catch with the kids in the back or if he can help me with homeschooling for a lesson. Or, a trip to the store for some essentials, even!
I'm used to being home by myself with the kids but now that my husband is here with me, it's important for me to stay focused on the day's tasks like school work, work, and chores without getting distracted by my husband. It's easy to want to procrastinate and bother him during the day. It's also easy to make him my scapegoat for when my day isn't going well. Normally, I would have no one else to blame, but now with him home....I have another body to get mad at when things don't go well. I really have to write a to-do list and hold myself accountable. Pretend he's not there, whatever it takes! But I have to check myself when I start drifting down the path of resentment when I really need to just calm down and keep truckin!