Rekindle your relationship with your family, spouse during lockdown. Here’s how
The world is reeling under the spread of the Covid-19 virus that started from China. As Italy, Spain, Iran and now even the US bear the brunt of the pandemic, several countries closed their skies and borders and enforced restrictions on their citizen’s movements. India, which has seen over 4,067 positive cases and 109 fatalities so far, soon followed suit. We are under a complete lockdown right now; people aren’t allowed to go to their offices, step outdoors except to buy groceries or for medical needs, or even travel within the city.
This means spending the whole day at home with your family. You will now be confined to your homes along with your family members unlike in the past when you may have travelled outside your city/town during office leave. Looking at the brighter side, this lockdown can also serve as a means to rekindle your family relationships and bonds, help you bring closer to your spouse, kids and in-laws. Having said that, you should always keep a watch on the odd moments of friction. Keeping this is mind, here’s all the expert help you’ll need to make sure you have a smooth sail in these 21 days.
Right now, doing household chores is a must because all the domestic helps have stopped coming. Aman Bhonsle, relationship counsellor says, “Though washing your dishes, helping cut vegetables, preparing food, cleaning the house, organising the cupboard and doing the laundry may sound menial to many, it shows husbands and wives that they are enmeshed and connected to each other. It’s a subtle way of saying, ‘I am here for you and you are here for me’, and that’s what this is all about.”
In the midst of the rat race, we forget to say, ‘thank you’, to our partners and closest family members as we unknowingly take all their gestures towards us for granted. Viveck Shettyy, life coach says, “Express gratitude as frequently as possible for all the wonderful time spent together in the past and in the present. This is clearly the first step to not just rekindle a relationship, but also to attract abundance in relationships at large. This will bring out the best in you and your partner, and take the relationship to a new high.”
There are ways to initiate play time in the house when you can’t go to malls or do outdoor activities. Bhonsle says, “Engage together in activities such as doodling, origami, clay work, painting an entire wall in the house, learning to cook using YouTube videos, trying a life hack, doing a DIY and decorating the house, which come under play time. This helps a couple tackle boredom and find common ground in areas in which they can recalibrate the way they live during a lockdown.”
Except on weekly and public holidays, you may have rarely exercised or meditated together as a couple. Shettyy says, “Practicing meditation with your partner for at least 15 minutes every morning would probably be the best way to create a strong energy connection, that goes far beyond the pseudo self to the real self.”
For the elderly, especially the ones who spend time out in the evenings, these are trying times. Sonal Sheth, counselling psychotherapist, Bhatia Hospital says “What elderly parents need most is to be heard, someone they can talk to about their fears, concerns or when they want to reminisce about the past. So, if you are an adult child show your care by making time for them, patiently listening to them.”
Involve your kids
There is no school or tuition, and vacations have started early. So, as parents or grandparents, why not spend quality time with your kids? Neeta V Shetty psychotherapist says, “Engage children and bond with them over board games, and arts and crafts. Let them help you in the kitchen with anything that is easy to prepare. You can also have reading sessions with them.”
How families can cope with the lockdown
- In a lockdown, the initial few days may be refreshing, but eventually partners may tend to get on each other’s nerves. Give space to each other. Give the first preference to kids when it comes to watching television or deciding the food menu for the day. Avoid heated arguments and make your points by talking softly. Lead by example and show that accommodating, sharing and caring is the key.
— Viveck Shettyy, life coach
- Don’t blame, check whether you are projecting your own issues on the other person. Find out the source of the worrying — is the crisis affecting my husband’s work or is my wife in stress because suddenly there is extra housework in the absence of the maid? Micro manage a partner by coping with his/her anxiety, especially those who are hooked on to the news, and get worried and hyper. Most importantly, make decisions for yourself, not your partner because you may want to do something and your spouse may want to do something else.
— Sonal Sheth, counselling psychotherapist