In the midst of so much of our lives changing every day, it can be very tempting to throw your routine out the window. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic can easily make anyone want to crawl into bed, snuggled up in your partner’s arms, to watch Netflix and lounge the day away. This might be a welcomed escape right now, but may become less tempting as the days go on.
You and your partner are in this for the long haul, and while we don’t know how long that actually is, we do know that you shouldn’t let the lifestyle you’ve cultivated together slip away. We encourage you to control what you can, which is how you spend your days. Even though you can’t do the exact things you could a month ago, you can still control the feeling and spirit of your lifestyle. And as a bonus, you get many more hours in the day with your partner, uninterrupted by activities that normally compete for that treasured time together.
Swap the “normal” things you’re not currently able to do and with something you can enjoy while social distancing — or quarantining or self-isolating together — or whatever stage of this you’re in. We hope this helps you keep some control and sense of normalcy.
Here are 10 social distancing-friendly swaps you can try. We encourage you to modify these or come up with our own!
- Instead of trying a new restaurant – test out a new recipe. This is the perfect time to scroll Pinterest for a new idea or dust off that cookbook you got as a wedding gift.
- Instead of going to the gym – workout together at home. If you were ever going to try a class at home, this is the time. Many fitness personalities and programs are offering free access to their workouts either on their websites or Facebook/Instagram for folks stuck at home.
- Instead of seeing a show/concert/movie – start a virtual movie club with friends. Agree on a movie to watch and discuss and rate it together. It’s a good way to see something you wouldn’t have normally chosen and have some connection with friends.
- Instead of attending a spirituality/faith service – attend by logging into service online. Many churches and places of worship are streaming their services online, so check out options and maintain that part of your routine, from your couch!
- Instead of weekend brunch with friends – bake some treats for your friends and drop them at their doorstop. You’ll have fun baking the treats and your friends will know you were thinking of them.
- Instead of visiting your neighborhood café/coffee shop – try to recreate your favorite drink at home. Find a recipe online for a simple syrup, add a dash of vanilla or almond extract, froth up some milk, add it to your coffee or espresso, and you’ve got yourself a flavored latte.
- Instead of a trip to the mall or your favorite store – challenge yourselves to making something together with supplies you have at home. Whether you’re a regular crafter or not, we’ve all got random art supplies in a box somewhere, so take it out and attempt to make something. It may become your new favorite piece of décor, or it may just give you a few laughs along the way.
- Instead of visiting family or friends – walk down memory lane and see your loved ones in your wedding photos or video. Most of us don’t spend nearly enough time reminiscing about our wedding days. Dig out the photo album and find that link your videographer sent you and you’ll be sure to bring some joy into your day.
- Instead of time apart at book club or sport practice – deep clean and organize areas of your home you never get to. Think of all the time you spend at various activities after work in a normal week, now repurpose that time each day to tackle a section of your home. Your future selves will thank you!
- Instead of seeing each other in passing – spend some true quality time with your partner. And don’t get too rigid about keeping a perfect routine each day, enjoy some of the spontaneity that comes with having nowhere to go.
Just because you are unable to do some of your favorite things, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the lifestyle and routine you’ve created with your partner. Take advantage of this time to try new things, challenge yourselves and grow closer together in your relationship. There really is a gift of time together hidden within the unfortunate circumstances.