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Keeping the peace at home during the pandemic

Lifeologie offers advice for couples and families
Posted at 5:25 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 08:18:08-04

GRAND RAPIDS — Can too much of a good thing be bad for us?

The coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to adjust nearly every aspect of their daily lives. Couples and families are now spending even more time around each other throughout the day. While the family dog might love the added company, it is important that everyone in the house feels the same way, too.

Save yourselves the arguments and be open with one another about boundaries and expectations during this stay-home order, says Nick Lang, therapist with Lifeologie Counseling.

Start with talking about work boundaries, such as "I'm working from 9 to 5, and my work expects me to actually work 9 to 5. So, that means ... I can't have any interruptions," Lang suggested. The conversation could continue, 'I don't know how you can help me with that. But being very clear. Give me some space if I need to.'"

Not everyone requires the same amount of attention, Lang pointed out.

"Introverts get their energy from having alone, personal space; and extroverts get their energy from being social and being with people," Lang explained. "It's important to know what you are and what your partner is and adjusting based on that. So, if your partner is an extrovert, how are you catering to making sure they get that social interaction." She noted that there's no community any more.

Lang recommends that couples take this unexpected extra time to reconnect with one other and the family by cooking or reading a book together, starting a new TV series, playing board games, even reminiscing over some old pictures.

Most important is to be kind to ourselves by practicing self-care through quality sleep, eating as healthy as possible, and getting some fresh air and exercise.