by Dr. Kendra A. O’Hora, LCMFT
Are you living that quarantine life? Yep, me too.
In some senses, it hasn’t been terrrribllleee – we did get served up Tiger King! In other respects its been pretty emotionally and physically draining.
Here’s a snapshot: I’ve had some clients struggle with their sobriety because they can’t work right now. I have other clients who are in industries that have been hit hard and they are working non-stop with children at home. Still yet, I have other clients who are trying to navigate homeschooling their children or working-from-home for the first time.
Transition isn’t easy but it’s relatively predictable. We’ll always be required to transition through life because change is inevitable. So,
At first glance these all seem kinda similar and contradictory, huh? Keep reading! But real quick…
Did you know I have other suggestions for getting your romantic relationship back on track? For getting your bond a bit unstuck, shall we say? I loveeee pulling together all my favorite tips and tricks for YOU.
Outside of therapy my favorite thing to do professionally is create content. There is just so much we learn in grad school about what works with couples. Countless hours spent reading, researching, and implementing the best stuff. So, why not put it all in one place?
If quarantine life pressed serious pause on your 2020 goals for relationship growth and you’re feeling a bit stuck, that’s A-O-K because I have something to help reignite your bond…
A couples workbook that helps your relationship go from stuck to fulfilled by tackling the three most important pieces of a romantic relationship.
Not sure if you’re ready for a full workbook? No problem because you can sign up below and receive my FREE e-guide that you can download today to get a simple taste of what the full workbook is all about.
To be clear, this guide is 100% designed for the couple that is ready to jumpstart growth and connection today.
Alright already, what the heck do create space, turn toward, and get close even mean?
During a shelter-in-place creating relational space, emotional space, personal space, or physical space is h.a.r.d.
So, we have to practice our intentionality by putting in a bit of oomph – you know, effort!
Creating space is crucial because processing a crisis while in a crisis is no easy task. One of the best growth areas we have as human beings is the need to look within, regulate, and just be.
When you can be in the midst of something and observe it, see it, and feel it…that’s pure gold.
So, relationally speaking – we’ve gotta create some space to process, think, and feel. Think of it this way – can you create space physically, emotionally, and mentally as a couple.
Create space from each other (it’s OK to need alone time) and create space together from others (like from children or parents).
Creating space means that you do not expect to do every activity as a couple or family. Embrace alone time and use that to reset your body, mind, and emotions.
Why is that important? Because COVID-19 cannot win.
We cannot let it tear us down. Turning toward is actually a concept talked about in couples therapy. We turn toward when in conflict or emotional angst. Turning toward means we pull closer to our partner and not further away. We soften instead of get harsh. We embrace instead of build a wall.
There’s no doubt in my mind that COVID-19 is going to increase stress in your home and thus, in your bond. Have you heard that the divorce rate in China went WAY up after their quarantine?
I fear that many couples are wired to turn away when they are hurting, turn away when they are angry, or turn away when they are stressed.
You can try this by offering:
And, you can RECEIVE this attempt to turn toward from your partner by remembering their humanity, remembering that you chose this person, remembering they are stressed right now too, remembering that they are worthy of love and make mistakes!
If you’ve been around my blog once or twice you know that I’m a big fan of closeness and connection. Physical touch and closeness can actually tangibly soften us. Have you ever heard of the cuddle hormone? …
Oxytocin, or the cuddle hormone, is a hormone that actually calms us down, increases connection, and reduces cortisol/stress.
So, hold hands, cuddle during a movie, grab his/her butt in the kitchen, hug for five seconds, or my all-time favorite for my clients to try: cuddle naked.
Cuddle naked before bed and you’ll be more connected and close than ever before.
And when everyone on the block says: how the heck did your marriage come out of this so so strong?
You’ll smile and say: lots-o-naked-cuddling.
But really, create space, turn toward, and get close.