10 Tips to Survive Quarantine with Your Spouse

Last updated on: Published by: Recognizing Potential Coaching 0

1. Nobody is in the same boat as you. 
Not your mom, not your neighbor and not your partner. Everyone handles quarantine differently. Approach with caution, care and compassion. 

2. Everyone’s needs are different. 
I’m talking basic needs here. Because everyone is in a different boat, everyone has needs that aren’t anything like yours.

3. Basic needs have to be met first
Refer to the picture above. The bottom section lists your basic needs and these have to be met before you can move to the next rung up. Your basic needs also have to be met before you have a conversation that requires you to focus, respond rationally, etc. Think about when you’re hangry, thirsty, exhausted, or otherwise. Can you focus well? Can you respond in kindness? Can you control your behavior as well as you can when you aren’t all those things? 

Additionally, love languages are added in there because if your love tank isn’t full, you aren’t able to put forth 100% effort into your relationship like you would if it were full. Feeling less than full leaves you exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally. Feeling full gives you the ability to overflow onto others. If you aren’t sure what your love language is or how to speak the love language of your spouse, click here and take the quiz.

4. Nobody is a mind reader.
Communicate clearly. “I need….” Check in with your spouse every day. “How can I show up best for you today? How are you feeling? What do you need?” I heard someone say “We’ve been married for a number of years now. At this point, I shouldn’t have to ask for what I need. My partner should just know.” It’s this kind of toxic communication that leads to a dead end on resentment street. You and your partner are both changing constantly. Nobody is a mind reader. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant to eat and feel like the waiter should just know what you want before you order. Don’t expect that of your partner either. Communicate. 

5. Be a TEAM player. 
 The responsibilities at home are 100% yours and 100% your partner’s. This includes housework, yard work and kids. Everyone helps everyone. A relationship is only as strong as weakest partner. If you’re responding to your partner’s request of “I need help” with “What’s in it for me?” (or anything of that regard), you are the weakest link. Everyone pulls their weight, even the kids. If they’re old enough to get it out, they’re old enough to put it away. Help them build a sense of responsibility by making kids put away dishes, take out the trash, sweep or mop the floor. 

6. Think BIG Picture. 
In the grand scheme of things, does it matter how your spouse loaded the dishwasher or folded the towels? Of course, it isn’t how you would do it but it’s done. Does your making a big deal of it and nit-picking the minor details really matter or is it just going to bring your spouse down and make the environment feel negative and tense? 

7. Communication is key. 
Should the need arise to complain about a behavior, make sure you’re doing just that. Complaining, not criticizing. Complaints focus on the behavior. “Can you fill the car up with gas after you use it please? It leaves me pressed for time if I have to do it in the mornings.” Criticizing focuses on the person’s character “You never fill the car up with gas! You’re so selfish to leave it for me to do!” 

Think about the Golden Rule here. If you turn your communication back on yourself (58% body language, 35% tone of voice, 7% words used) how would you feel on the receiving end? Treat your partner as you’d want to be treated. They’re a human you love after all. 

If you need a good app for communicating to-do lists, grocery lists, kids events, basically anything that would be the control station of your family- COZI is amazing. Not an ad, just what we use as a family. I love it because it even color coordinates who’s events are what and emails you in the mornings to say “hey! This is what your day looks like.” It’s free and fantastic. 

8. Have your own routine.
Set your to-do list the night before, get up and do what you would do if you weren’t in a quarantine situation. Go for a run, make breakfast, clean, have your morning routine. Do whatever you need to do to be productive for yourself. You’ll feel so much more accomplished in doing this.

9. Take time for yourself each day. 
The absolute best thing that my family has done in all of this is starting our day off by ourselves. We each go to our own spaces, by ourselves and we read, journal, write, do yoga, meditate, study, paint, draw, listen to music or whatever we feel like doing for 1-2 hours every morning. I’ve always got my sunflower butter and banana toast, my coffee, my journal and the latest book. My husband is usually studying for one of his classes. My son takes my laptop and goes to do his online school lessons for the day. When we emerge, we are better humans who appreciate each other versus wanting to punch each other in the face. We are already productive and we have our sanity. We don’t feel smothered and it is simply GLORIOUS. Many people have talked to me about being at their wits end in the past few weeks. Do you know what the common denominator is? Not having time to themselves every single day.

10. Gratitude
One of my trademark moves in coaching any couple is to make them start a gratitude journal and out of the 10 things they write down every day, 3 of them have to be about their spouse. When you are grateful, you’re focus on being grateful grows. When you’re negative about your spouse, you’re only thinking more negatively about your spouse. Grow your mindset and include a gratitude practice for your spouse each day. Share what you’re grateful for with them. It will build them up and make them more grateful for you too! Total win for both! 

These are all things that are tried and true with my spouse. I can honestly say that my husband and I have been quarantined together now since March 9. He’s taken 3 trips that were quick turns (1 flight somewhere and back the same day) in that time. Otherwise, we’ve been home together, the whole family. In that time, we’ve had two small arguments. The first was because taxes are stressful and something that literally nobody wants to deal with. The second was a total miscommunication because of the language barrier. Trust me when I tell you that this list works and it also makes an unfortunate time that you can’t control a lot more enjoyable! If you find that your relationship is struggling and you need even more help, I have opened my schedule for 2 couples to have 1:1 coaching. You can find more info on that here.

What’s Your Perspective?

Last updated on: Published by: Recognizing Potential Coaching 0

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completely different.

This whole pandemic has taught me the same. I have had a lot of conversations in the past week and the range of emotions everyone is feeling is wider than Mariah Carey’s vocal abilities. 

Then I was reading something that talked about how in several years people are going to look back and say things like “don’t you remember the shortage of food in the grocery stores and everyone hoarding toilet paper? Remember how we couldn’t leave our houses for several weeks and how we had to juggle working from home and teaching our kids online? UGH! It was such a struggle!”

However, the kids that are living this right now are not going to remember that. They’re going to remember that their parents were more present with them than they ever had been before, more affectionate than before. They will remember that mom made homemade breakfast and she wasn’t screaming to put the shoes on in the car because everyone was running late…again! Moms and Dads had time for things like family bike rides, playing board games, walks around the neighborhood, watching movies and eating dinner as a family, setting up a tent in the living room in the name of science or building a fort just because. 

The perspective here is that while we are feeling such a disconnect from the world, our kids are feeling more connected to us in ways they never have before. That may be the biggest blessing that comes out of this. But what else could be working for us instead of it happening to us?  

Maybe we choose to look at this from a place filled with joy. Maybe we get our own reality check here and start prioritizing things, look at what we don’t need to go back to when all this is over. Maybe we start journaling and stop overthinking everything because now we have the time to analyze what is making our situation better and what’s making it worse. Whatever it is, it has to be a conscious choice that we make that may not come from a place of comfort. We may need to take that stretch step out of our comfort zone in order to change what we don’t like while understanding that we still have control over the majority of our reality. 

What I know for sure is that THIS. WILL. PASS. I promise you. I started teaching my Chinese kids online again this morning just to check on them, see how they are and earn a little more cushion income because we aren’t certain of what the airlines are going to do for my husband’s job and because we’re still fighting for our goal of buying a house at the end of the year. My little ones told me that parks are starting to open up again. Kids are going back to school next week and what they are all most excited about is going outside and feeling the sunshine. People over there live in high rise apartments and because of rules, regulations and over crowding on the streets, children are physically not able to go outside. At. All. Let that sink in from a child’s perspective and from an adult who has or has been around children. 

This is not a competition of what country or what neighbor has it worse. Lord knows we need none of that right now, but it is a matter of perspective. You can go outside. You can facetime friends. Social distancing should actually be called physical distancing. Right now, connection is indeed a necessity.  Connect with your friends through zoom, facetime or any other means necessary. If you’re reading this and you’re interested in a mastermind group that has free coaching or free networking or just adult interaction and connection, reply to this email and I will absolutely get it set up! Get back to your inner child and connect with the things you once loved but no longer “have time for”. Learn a new skill! My pilot wife group is BLOWING UP with all these amazing things that people are baking. We’re talking things like souffles and truffles, cookies that have like a billion steps and dishes that put Julia Child to shame! 

What you focus on magnifies. I have preached that for years and will until the day I die because it’s a concept I witness and live out every single day. Goals and ideas that I had a year or more ago are coming to fruition right this very moment because I didn’t pull up when things got hard or scary (more on this in a couple weeks). I fought for what I wanted most and not even quarantine or Rona was going to stop me. That was my perspective. If your perspective is to live in the anxiety, that’s going to be magnified exponentially right now. If you’re perspective is to choose to see the light, to be excited for each day and live in joy and happiness, that’s going to be magnified immensely.  What you’re looking for, you will find. If it’s hard for you to find joy and happiness, I encourage you to take a walk. Start a gratitude practice and listen to some Disney music. Seriously. Really listen to the message in each song. The words are powerful. It also makes for a great dance party if you don’t feel like exercising in a traditional sense. 

Your perspective in this time is going to make you the best version of yourself during and after this is over or it’s going to break you and you’re going to have an incredibly hard time with it all. If you are struggling but you want to be the best version of yourself, reach out. Let’s do a one hour strategy session to help you make that a reality. 

If you need even more content, don’t forget my podcast comes out THIS THURSDAY (another goal I’ve had for over a year now!) Watch my Facebook group and Instagram for more info (follow links are at the bottom of this email).

Take care and think happy thoughts!