Feeling irritable and frustrated? You aren’t alone. Life for the next 2 weeks is going to look a lot different with COVID-19 in full swing. Your temper, irritability, and exhaustion and stress will likely play a part in how you interact with your spouse.
Governor Eric J. Holcomb delivered a statewide address yesterday to order that Hoosiers remain in their homes except when they are at work or for permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety. The order is in effect from March 25 to April 7.
I want to arm you with 5 tips to use for the next 2 weeks to support your husband and draw closer to him during a tense time where you are in close quarters & not seeing other people very often! Let’s go!
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Episode 18: How To Thrive During Stressful Transitions
We have been self-quarantining for 11 days now. We’ve set some structures in place, worked through how workdays will work, and have been trying to structure weekends as well, but irritability has started to show its colors in conversations.
Short phrases that would’ve seemed like no big deal seem like a big deal. I’ve been bothered by my husband saying, “I don’t want to do that right now”, and frustrated by the logical, non-emotional conversation structure that I usually appreciate about him.
I can feel angry emotions rising up in a way they almost never do, because not only am I walking through unknown territory of what it’s like to live physically isolated from others during a pandemic, I’m walking through friends losing jobs, having babies in the hospitals right now – clients needing to cancel and reschedule – and a constant need to be peaceful and joyful with the little one excitedly running around the house.
Here are the 5 tips I wanted to give to you that I’ve learned in the last 2 weeks, that will help me as I learn what living these next 2 weeks will look like:
What weekly needs done, what daily needs done, how you can help one another, how to proactively make your home into a work and play space for the entirety of 2 weeks, tell when you’re on the edge and when you want to just be alone This has helped a lot. Alan vacuumed this past weekend, was with Johnny when I needed to be on the phone with a bride whose wedding is TODAY and being captured by an associate photographer. He has prayed with me and just let me nap next to him.
Last night, I got 10 hours of sleep. It was like my body was just waiting for this for two straight weeks. It’s been hard to sleep, especially after developing an addiction to checking the news and Facebook… even though every time I have, the news and updates have been even worse and it drives fear and panic in me. I feel like you can’t think straight when you’re hit in the face with a HUGE blow, and stripping away part of a livelihood and a whole part of a lifestyle can really make the night not help. It just feels dark. I’ve been praying. I’ve been listening to peaceful music, but I’ve also been looking too much and am just now starting to get tired of the routine that I’ve noticed – pick up phone, scroll, feel fearful. So last night, my body and mind finally let me rest.
Switch to decaf or to tea
I’ve always wanted to do this. Learn how to jazz up tea so it actually tastes good to me. Let’s be honest though, coffee doesn’t really taste good to me either – it just gives me a kick when I’ve been up all night with our 18 month old 🙂 The last two days I’ve decided my brain and body has been on high alert waiting on emails from brides and vendors that I didn’t need coffee anymore. It wasn’t helping. It was hurting. It made me twitchy, anxious, and at worst – annoyed or angry by not feeling like I had control over my own job. So I decided to switch to tea, and have taken up english breakfast tea with lemon and honey.
Have time by yourself
If you don’t get time by yourself, you will feel like you’re trapped in a room with two other people who have different preferences and experiences throughout the day than you do. It is AMAZING to be quarantined with a supportive husband and patient baby boy, but having time completely by myself to process my own feelings and reflect on how I’m coping and working through these new stressors is necessary.
Praying 20 minutes each day and sitting by myself on the couch at the end of each day has been SO helpful to just be totally alone, not hearing anything, not needing to be anywhere or do anything. Just to BE with the Lord has been important. I don’t really have wind up time by myself, it’s with John but there’s a routine of breakfast, cleaning up, and working out (or getting into some fun activities).
Wind down time includes a shower, which I have definitely spent more time relaxing than just hopping in and out like usual because it’s another beautiful moment of complete silence. As a married mama, those moments of complete silence are crucial because it’s necessary for me to work through these stressors to fully be present as a wife and mama right now.
Eat dessert together
I eat dairy, gluten, and sugar free by preference. Dairy and sugar give me acne, and gluten makes me bloated and lethargic. But, the stress of the past two weeks have been intense in a new way that has made me crave an outlet. We don’t have alcohol in the house, I don’t want more coffee, I’ve been praying everyday, and I am working through coping skills for this new type of stress and tension, but this past week it’s been comfort foods.
We made homemade doughnuts and we ordered pizza – the cheesy, crust kind that has all the dairy and gluten that helps to relieve a kind of stress I’ve never had before in a way. I’m not saying bring back bad habits, but I am saying that I’m just trying to bring love and joy to the people I’m with everyday, and I’m learning how to have grace with myself as I cope and learn how to thrive in this new season. I’m not there yet, so comfort foods are helping in the meantime.
Revive your relationship by isolating with intention.
Be aware of how you’re doing, how he’s doing, and how you can help one another.
Which of the 5 tips (over communicate, sleep, drink tea, alone time, dessert) are you and your husband utilizing right now?
Which tip can you implement today?
What do you need to communicate with your husband about? What does he need to communicate with you about? It’s time to talk.
Talk with your husband about how your home structure and self quarantine has been going, and walk through these 5 tips, as well as both of your feelings to process what adjustments will help you both thrive in this season together
More than anything, I pray you lean into each other, give one another huge amounts of grace as you walk through this uncertain time.
Quick stop, if you want a deeper reflection from me in regards to COVID-19 and how to keep close to your spouse this week, sign up to join The Soul Family Insider’s List, whose link is in the notes! http://eepurl.com/c7rxJb
Friend, you’ve got this, and even more – God’s got this. Get out there and hug the one person you chose to be with forever, through the good times and hard times. Praying you have a peace-filled day!