This situation is creating isolation for many - it's a new reality we're finding ourselves in, and many of us are learning how to handle it together. In an effort to combat this isolation, it's important to create and maintain connection - and one of the most important people to do that with is your significant other.
As a couples therapist, I often remind my clients that your primary relationship is the one with your partner, spouse, or S.O. For this day of the challenge, I'd like to offer you some helpful tips on how to care for yourself while also nurturing your connection with each other:
🍂 Set aside sometime in the day just for you - nurture and care for yourself so that there's more of you to give to your partner.
🍂 Recognize your individual differences, especially as you both bring different strengths and struggles to the table during this time.
🍂 Before a conflict arises, try something new - before reacting (our go-to), slow down and pay attention to what's happening inside. What are you feeling, and where do those feelings come from? Take time to slow your breathing down, be aware of yourself, and notice that you may be influenced by the anxiety of isolation and uncertainty, as well as what your partner has said or done.
🍂 If emotions are still running high, take a pause and don't react just yet. We're all holding the anxiety of what's going on around us - slow down a bit and use this as an opportunity to adjust and to manage your expectations for the time being. Flexibility is key.
🍂 If you do find yourself in conflict, recognize, "Okay, we're caught up in our negative cycle again - let's pause." Underlying that conflict are feelings, and below those feelings are unmet needs fighting to be seen and heard. What do you need from your partner right now?
🍂 Set aside time in the day to connect, just the two of you. When we feel connected, our heart opens up more and we feel generous toward our partner. Allow a space for that openness. Check in with each other.
🍂 I have included a link that speaks to our unmet needs in relationships. Enjoy.
What's one thing you'll look forward to doing with your significant other today? Let me know in the comments below!