- Get outside: Being confined together can bring up issues around personal space and the need for “breathing room.” Get outside and take a walk when you can. Leaving the house for a 15-minute walk can prevent conflict and take down stress levels.
- Schedule parenting duties: If you and your partner have kids and you’re all stuck at home together, it’s more important than ever to create a plan for sharing parenting responsibilities. Take turns with childcare. There’s no need for one person to handle it all. And if it’s safe to do so where you live, let the kids out to play or go for a walk whenever possible.
- Step away from the 24-hour news cycle: It is so tempting to watch this crisis unfold minute by minute, but if it’s causing you or your partner to feel fear and panic, limit it. Go to your trusted news sources for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening; don’t stay glued to stress.
- Remember your common goals: This is especially important if your relationship was already struggling. Set anger and frustration aside and remember that you both have the same goal: to stay safe and healthy. Focus your conversations on your common goals, and be willing to compromise.
- Practice gratitude: Look for things you can be grateful about during this challenging time, rather than focusing on what-ifs about the future. If you are both safe and healthy right now, remind yourself of that and practice staying in the moment.
- Skip the fights: Now more than ever is not a time for fighting. Fights are more likely to be based in fear when we are in incredibly challenging times like these. Have patience with each other and know that this increased tension is likely due to fear.
About: Jessica Baum, LMHC is the founder of the Relationship Institute of Palm Beach and creator of the Self-Full™ method — a therapeutic path to personal wellness and freedom from codependence. Jessica holds an undergraduate degree from Fordham University and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from South University.
As a certified addiction specialist, her focuses are chemical abuse, codependency, and anxiety. She is also a certified Imago Therapist, bringing her compassionate and effective relationship counseling experience to families, couples, and family programs within addiction treatment centers. Jessica has extensive training in psychodrama and experiential therapy, and is additionally skilled in cognitive and dialectical behavior therapy. Her training also includes EMDR and Post Induction Therapy, and she has a wealth of experience supporting trauma patients.
Jessica’s own personal core belief is centered around the importance of connection, both to oneself and the outside world. She believes the crux of most personal struggles can be attributed to a lack of true understanding and personal connection, and that it is this sense of disconnection that ultimately leads to pain. Jessica founded the Relationship Institute of Palm Beach to help heal, foster happiness, and restore hope in the individuals and families she works with. Learn more at www.RelationshipsPB.com and www.JessicaBaumLMHC.com.