With stress and anxiety levels heightened across the world in the New Normal, relationships continue to be tested like never before. Many couples have had to learn new ways to navigate home, work and life all under one COVID roof!
Discussing and agreeing disciplines to maintain the safe haven of home and protect our key relationships is vital for survival. This is the essence of Habit #3 of The 4 Habits of ALL Successful Relationships – ASK, don’t assume. We each need to identify what’s important to us, create healthy boundaries around the people and things that matter most, and ask for the help / support where we need it. No one can respect the boundaries we don’t set.
5 key things
Here are five key things to discuss as a couple to create healthy boundaries and better life balance:
1. Roles and responsibilities at home — For many, household responsibilities have gone through the roof, but assumptions around who does what remain unchallenged — and not talking about the split of roles has created huge resentment. The research shows women still carry the brunt of household tasks and childcare responsibilities and their careers have been more adversely affected by the pandemic. Renegotiating roles based on who has capacity and availability (instead of traditional gender assumptions) is a necessary and important conversation and helps free up emotional bandwidth to be more fully present for relationships. Tread carefully though because it can challenge core beliefs about what each of us should be doing!
2. Availability and work “focus time” – Agreeing the times when you are available for each other / the family and when you need time for focused work is vital to manage expectations and reduce tensions. And note: “start time” is as important as “stop time” to prevent work bleeding into home and vice versa.
3. Time to refuel self – When life gets hectic we tend to forget or sacrifice making time to look after our own physical and mental health. But we can’t give what we don’t have. There’s a good reason why in aircraft emergencies we’re advised to put our own oxygen masks on first, before helping others!
4. Time for each other – Stress sucks the oxygen out of relationships. You need 1‑on‑1 time to keep relationships alive, mutually supportive and emotionally connected. Remember to schedule diary time for this.
5. Time for kids / family – Remember young and old are experiencing their own version of COVID stress and mental health concerns are on the rise. Make time to check in on loved ones, and if you have kids… go where they are, learn the games they enjoy and make time for the family activities they like doing.
With tensions and pressures mounting from within and without, we all need to be intentional about looking after ourselves and each other. Creating healthy boundaries and disciplines to protect the people and things that matter most will help us have a healthier 2021 – physically, emotionally and mentally — whatever the New Year brings!
Toucan Together empowers you as a couple to set Relationship Goals together to grow and strengthen your relationship. Get started by taking the‘Pulse’ of your relationship with our short research-based quiz and see the health of your relationship across seven key indicators. GET STARTED NOW