How to Fill Your Free Time (Without a Fight)

When the world slowed down for a few months, many of us got a taste of what it was like to have more free time, albeit free time stuck at home. We learned how to bake new treats (banana bread? sourdough?), organized every drawer and cabinet, and maybe even took on some home improvement projects. But by now, we’re all itching to do the things we postponed or longed for during our days at home. On top of that anticipation, it’s also summer, which usually brings long weekends, vacations, and lots of get-togethers. What were previously “normal” decisions might now be met with a new sense of unease or anxiousness about being with and around others. Combine these factors with the urge to make up for the adventures we would’ve had this spring, and you have a situation that could lead to some heated discussions with your partner about where and how you’ll spend your precious free time.

Suffice it to say, this summer brings some new challenges for your relationship.

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Navigating the Pandemic as Newlyweds

I was talking to a friend last week, sharing stories about our weekend. She and her husband had celebrated their first anniversary as a married couple, in true quarantine style, with homemade pasta and a bottle of chilled wine that had been left on their front porch by a dear friend. She made a comment that struck me as interesting – “Our first year of marriage was certainly not what I imagined.”

In that first year, they both had major changes with their careers, bought a home together, and most unplanned of all: weathered 3 months (and counting) of a global pandemic. While many of those events were welcome and brought joy to their relationship, she delved deeper in her reflection that it was more the amount of change, challenge, and cooperation between the two of them that she didn’t anticipate. She, like many newlyweds, thought that the first year would be a breeze, a blissful journey together living life. I can relate. I myself just celebrated nine months married to my husband – also qualifying us as newlyweds navigating a different first chapter of marriage than we envisioned.

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Your Emotional Energy Spending Habits

How do you spend your emotional energy?

The world is heavy. We feel it. It’s hard to escape. And the weight of it all might be seeping into your relationship. It’s not a question of how to build a fortress to prevent the events of your community or society from penetrating your relationship; it’s a question of what amount of energy you devote to feeling those feelings, and at what cost.

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Things to Take With You From Quarantine

Our exact timelines will vary, but we’ve all been in this for a while now. Quarantine, lockdown, shelter-in-place, or whatever you want to call the new normal we’ve been living. Depending on where you live, you could be pivoting towards opening up and going back to something resembling life “before.” For some of us, life will continue to unfold in restricted, socially-distant reality. We hope that over the last weeks and months, you’ve been able use some of your time at home to invest in your relationship. As you prepare to step back into the hustle and bustle of life, we encourage you to reflect on the things you want to take with you and carry on from this time. Yes, we know there are probably many things you’d like to leave behind, but there has been some good that has come out of staying home and slowing down your pace of life.

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10 Tweaks to Help You Thrive as a Couple

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!

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