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Coping with Cohabitation: Making sure your relationship survives the stress of COVID-19

Spending this much time at home, even with those you love, can put stress on any relationship. Tips to make sure COVID-19 changes don't stress you and your partner.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —

For a lot of couples, this time of self-quarantining may have started out as a dream come true. But now, you could be finding yourself in the middle of a nightmare. 

You should know-- you’re not alone. 

We spoke with Monretta Vega, a counselor with Huntsville Psychotherapy and Counseling Services. She tells us that, if couples don't maintain a "sense of self" while staying at home, things could get tense. Vega says, “You have a little bit of a honeymoon phase. ‘It’ll be great, we’ll get to spend time together and eat lunch and breakfast and all of those great things.. After that-- I encourage you to have some alone time.”

And working from home together could bring a whole new set of challenges. Vega says, “It is okay. If we are both working from home, let’s have our designated spaces. And let’s also have some time to kind of go away from each other so we have something to communicate with.”

For those who have children, a day under this “stay at home” order could quickly spiral into chaos. Vega tells us, developing a routine could make all the difference.  She adds, “School is back in and they have some form of a schedule. That may have helped alleviate some of the pressure and some of the demands of the children right now. So what we want to do as parents is we implement a schedule, we give them some individual alone time so that we can have some.” 

And don't forget to give kids an outlet to let off some steam. Vega adds, “Definitely exercise, you guys. Let these children get out and utilize the energy.”

Try to designate time for yourself, separate from your partner. Vega says, “We don’t know how long we’ll be here. So, there’s a great opportunity to complete that project, to complete that house assignment, to look into your school work -- whatever the case may be… AND rest.”

Vega advises using this time to do something that makes you happy. It will help you relax, keep you productive and help reduce stress in your relationship. 

Monretta Vega tells us that something as simple as taking the time to go for a quick walk, cooking a meal as a couple, or even starting to watch a new show can help you spend time together in stress-free environments. 

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