Being engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic can mean spending 24 hours a day under the same roof as your partner. While being engaged to someone does mean you’ve decided to share your lives together, this level of togetherness can still put a strain on your relationship; but it can also provide a crash-course on getting to know your partner on an even deeper level.
The internet has given us plenty of hilariously relatable content showing how couples are coping (i.e. creating an imaginary co-worker on whom to blame the dozens of empty water glasses left around the house). But what isn’t being discussed as often is how unusual this time together truly is. For a newly engaged couple, staying home together during this time of great uncertainty also encourages you to lean on one another. This could mean having longer and more meaningful discussions (and yes, possibly more intense arguments too), and learning every bit of good and bad habits the other has.
Here are 6 activities that couples can do to survive isolation together:
#1 Create TikTok Videos Together
We are all being asked to help “flatten the curve” and the best way to do so is to stay home. For couples who may have run out of ideas on how to stay sane and happy while quarantining, now is the time to start flexing your dance moves on TikTok. Talent is certainly optional and there’s nothing quite like bonding over a goofy routine. Who knows, you might become the next internet sensation!
#2 Learn How To Cook
Entering married life with some experience cooking together under your belt can make you feel like you’re already ahead of the game once you’ve tied the knot. With dining out off the menu, take it upon yourselves to put food on your table together. Now is the time to practice making meals, finding your favorites, and making lasting memories in the kitchen. Both of you may be surprised that something as simple as cooking can make you feel a bit more prepared for newlywed life. If you invent something delicious together, write it down! You’ll have meal ideas for the future. And if it’s extra delicious, submit your recipes over at Allrecipes.com so that the rest of the world can get in on the fun.
#3 Garden Or Spruce Up Your Home
With time to spare, you may have just discovered the green thumb that you never knew you had. You are not alone! More and more couples, while missing time outdoors, have discovered the benefits of spending time in their own backyards. Not only does gardening have therapeutic effects, but it can provide the closeness to nature that many are lacking. Even if you don’t have large, open spaces to garden, houseplants can be a bright and cheerful addition to any home.
#4 Find Time To Separate
Sharing the same space without being able to separate from your significant other means that at some point, one or both of you will need some alone time. While staying at home together can certainly bring you closer, it can also lead to stress and anxiety when you each don’t feel like you are able to just take time for yourself.
Keep in mind that both of you may have had different routines prior to sheltering in place and that you both are adjusting to a big change in your lives. Determine what you’d like your “you time” to be and when and share that with your significant other. Whether it’s reading the newspaper and drinking coffee in the morning without talking or taking an hour to read a book, work together to respect what the other needs. This will help you both maintain a healthy state of mind and a stronger relationship.
#5 Keep Yourself Healthy And Fit
For many couples, mental and physical exercise is an important part of their daily lives; and right now, many of us are finding ourselves in a position where our typical exercise routines are no longer possible. And while this may be frustrating, finding time to move each day can do wonders for your mental state. Whether it’s an online yoga class on YouTube, a workout from an exercise app, or a walk or run around the neighborhood, your body (and your relationship) will thank you. The better you feel both mentally and physically, the better it will be for you and your significant other.
#6 Plan Your Wedding
Oh yeah, that! With so much uncertainty, it can feel overwhelming and sometimes even sad to think about planning your wedding right now, especially if it is scheduled to take place soon. But if you feel you are mentally able to do so, you can and should still continue to plan your special day together. While now may not be the time to make big purchases, it’s a wonderful time to research! Spend time looking at Pinterest and create mood boards together. Inventory your house, determine what you might want or need, and create online registries at your favorite retailers. Talk to each other about wedding back-up plans and discuss together what options you might consider if your plans do need to shift. If it starts to feel too stressful, take a break for the day or even the week and come back to it when the time feels right. Try to approach everything with an open mind and with positivity, but most importantly, at your own pace.