Sheltering In Place With Your Spouse: How To Cope
Its been three weeks now since our original Shelter In Place order was announced in Northern California. During the last three weeks we've had a LOT more time on our hands. If you're like me, also a lot more time with your spouse.
Sooo....how do you deal?
How do you deal with the transition of only seeing each other after work and on the weekends to now ALL DAY EVERYDAY?
We're both working from home so Fatai and I have had to carve out space for each other. Not easy, since we live in an open loft. Literally, privacy is ZERO. Noise control is ZERO. And in the beginning I felt like we were all up in each others space all the time. One of us liked it, the other felt like it was harder to concentrate. Can you guess who was who? LOL
Here's what we've learned to do....
1. Set expectations. Are you working from home? Or are you not working at all. Do you work best in a quiet environment, will you be on a lot of conference calls, will you need light or dark etc? Fatai and I live in a very small, open space and we wish we had set better expectations in the beginning for our work needs. Share what you will need to create an optimal work or rest environment at home. Ask your spouse what they will need in turn. Then work together to find a happy middle ground for both of you, in the space that you have. Communication is king.
2. Build a routine together. If you're both working from home you will need to respect each other's space and quiet time. Be sure to share with each other when your work day starts and ends, when your meetings are, when you can take breaks together and if you want to take time to get up and move together. For example, Fatai and I like to take a break in the mid afternoon to go for a walk together, it wakes us both up and reconnects us.
If its your day off of work, treat it like one! Plan something fun to do together...try a board game, go for a hike, teach each other something new, cook together. Try to switch things up and do something other than just watch Netflix all day. Lately, we like to go drone flying!
3. Have lunch together. Whether you're working from home or just "resting, unemployed" from home you should SPEND MORE TIME together. Break bread together, enjoy this one time in life when you get to share meals over lunch during the work week together.
Try this for fun! Use Uber Eats or your favorite meal delivery service to share a surprise meal together. For example, I asked Fatai to give me 3 ideas for what type of food he was in the mood for. I also gave him the three types of food I was hungry for. Then we each logged into our Uber eats app and ordered a meal for each other. We placed our orders at the same time, hoping that the food would arrive somewhat close together. It was a fun challenge and so delicious!
He ended up getting me a philly cheese steak, wings and garlic fries (way too much food). I got him pineapple chicken fried rice, steamed pork buns and short ribs (also way too much food haha).
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4. Invest in a good set of headphones. He's a loud talker and so am I. It can be disruptive when we both have meetings at the same time or when one of us is really trying to concentrate with work. Headphones have saved us both, allowing us to concentrate and to block out the background noise of the other. Thanks to a luck of fate, Fatai had two sets of PowerBeats, and gave me one to keep. Love them
More than ever, I think that shelter in place is a good reminder to spend time in gratitude for WHO and what you have. When I'm tired, stressed, bored or annoyed, its so hard to find things to be THANKFUL for. So I often sit and force myself to name something, and it's often Fatai. Our feelings often follow our actions and if you are having trouble managing the extra time sit and speak out loud what you could be thankful for. Speak out loud why you DO enjoy the extra time with your spouse and the positives they bring into your life. I promise this exercise, if done daily, will change your attitude and your perspective on home quarantine.
Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments!
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