So, its many months since lockdown has begun and the fatigue is getting to everyone. Its been months since we have been able to take a holiday, and here in South Africa, its now possible, but most of us are cautious. You have eaten dinner with the same people, or perhaps you have been creative and had some Zoom friend dates?
My couples are asking me at the moment, how do we thrive? We are doing the check ins and we work long hours, and there are so many demands on us - how do we navigate this new reality so we thrive as individuals and together?
Here are some ideas for you to ponder and some things to do in the next 2 weeks:
Schedule some me time. That can take a few forms. It can be in your every day, what do you enjoy doing? Reading, a long bath, candles, dancing? In those moments of self-care, do it as if you are on holiday. If you can, take some time off - take a day off together and also separately. The one on your own is for you - so plan something in your confines. Read a book, catch up on the course you have been putting off, do some yoga, gardening, whatever you desire. This is about self-care - whatever that means for you. For me that means down time, its means not HAVING to do something, its about taking time to reflect on my business, not working in it or as me as a therapist and coach. Self nourishing for me is when I dance as I cook and dig into a movie or a book.
Schedule some we time - this is in two forms - a date night, or a time of connecting - when the kids know not to disturb you and you connect as a man and a woman, no distractions. The other form is self-care together, this isn't just the quick movie, but its the movie with something special - a moment shared, reading books as you lie next to each other - something that you do while being together, knowing its replenishing you deep inside.
During this time, cut each other some slack, be flexible in your dealing with each other. Understand that you have mutual and differing needs and that's ok and see if you can create a dance which allows for both, let each of you find your rhythm. Like in all couple dances there is time apart and time together - remember that in this time too.
If there are kids, have some time with all of you doing something together and then perhaps when each person is taking some self-care, the other is having some quality time with the kids.
Be kind and gentle with each other, trust and nurture the good-will in the relationship. Do positive things for your partner and build the underlying good-will between you and the space between you. Simple acts of consideration/kindness and remember to notice them and say thank you/show appreciation.
Remember to sometimes throw away all responsibilities and just have the attitude and action of care-free holiday, put the phones away, the media away, and do creative fun things together (or as a family)
I hope this gives you some ideas.
Be gentle and aware, always