With the uninvited and unexpected arrival of Covid-19, thousands of us have suddenly been plunged into our home environment in ways we've never experienced before.
Offices all over the globe have been swapped for living rooms, bedrooms and any other space with WiFi connection.
We're shutting up shop, and closing our doors to the outside. But where does this leave us, and our relationships?
For many, working from a home environment will be something of a shock. It can be difficult to rapidly and unexpectedly adjust.
Sharing space with a loved one takes a little configuring, but it can become a very positive experience ultimately. It just needs a little handling!
I have gathered together all I know on this subject both from my own experience of writing on the road while living with my partner along with the generously shared stories from those around me.
Here are 7 easy ways to keep love alive while working from home with a partner:
Keep to a daily schedule. Mark out breaks and work sessions, agreed together. Your partner will appreciate knowing when you’re doing what, so that you don’t clash in the home space. You’ll be far more likely to be productive - and less bad tempered later on!
Shower and get dressed. Pyjama life is a great life. But it can leave you feeling lazy and pretty unfocused. It also doesn’t help you feel all that empowered, which isn't going to help how you feel as a whole. Jump in the shower first thing before choosing a favourite daywear outfit. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to face the day together in no time.
Create time for yourself. Try getting up early and going for a walk before the world starts to stir. Or take a walk around your garden, if you have one. Anything that removes you from your home space will regenerate both your mind and body. Both are vital to the wellbeing of your relationship - don’t neglect them.
Agree on a ‘do not disturb’ signal. It might be that when either of you are working while wearing headphones you are ‘inaccessible’. Or you could agree that when a door is closed, then this signals no entry. A simple agreement like this prevents a multitude of future frictions.
Differentiate day and evening. When work ends, pack everything away and reset the lighting or curtains to ‘evening mode’. Psychologically let go of your office, allowing time to focus on each other. Make it special, lighting candles and choosing a favoured movie each night of the week.
‘De-tech’ at least once a day. Mealtimes are a great time to put smartphones and tablets on charge in another room in order to make some space to hear one another. Reconnecting away from the glare of screens will you give you an opportunity to hear one another’s experiences in real time.
Take moments for ‘time-out’ when you both need it. Being cooped up comes with natural challenges. It’s imperative that small annoyances are kept in check. If you feel frustration rising, take yourself into another room to take a few deep breaths before you re-engage. Repeat as necessary!
We are living in uncertain times, no doubt. None of us can know for sure what lays ahead.
But did we ever?
What we do know, and what I deeply believe in, is that love remains. It stays, and it sticks.
Love will stubbornly continue to fit into the gaps that fear creates. It seeps into our experiences in ways we might expect, and feeds us when we share it with others.
We are all in the same boat. The boat just might look a little different for each of us, but our voyage is a shared one.
Embrace this obscure moment of simpler living to work on your most important relationships. It could be a rare opportunity to connect that we never knew we needed!
With love, as ever!
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