How individuals can cope with the lockdown:
After a few weeks of being in lockdown I’ve gathered some thoughts based on
other people’s experiences and reflections, through conversations, as well as,
multiple blogs, articles and webinars.
Overall things that can help are:
● Try to maintain a routine, include some quality time for yourself,
something that you enjoy doing like reading, exercise, meditation,
listening to music, singing, dancing, etc.
● Try to keep connected with family, friends and colleagues through the
different media channels.
● Be mindful about how much news you watch. It’s good to check on the
news maybe once or twice a day but be aware if they’re making you
anxious and consult reliable sources.
● Try to maintain healthy habits, like drinking plenty of fluids, eating well
and exercising (within restrictions).
● Establish small goals daily or weekly. These can be personal or
● Engage on activities that you haven’t had time to do before. Some people
are doing things they haven’t had time to do before, like cleaning or
tidying up the house, some on-line course that you bought and haven’t
done yet, some books that you want to read and you don’t seem to get
time to do.
How to maintain your relationship during lockdown:
Being locked in the same house for a long time can be taxing for any relationship.
There are a few things that we can be aware of and being particularly thoughtful
about. This applies to couples but also many of these strategies are valid to other
● People deal with stress and anxiety in different ways, one can be very
rational when dealing with it, wanting to plan and define activities and
tasks, others can go more into emotions. The important thing is to accept
differences so that these styles become complementary rather than
● People might also need different degrees of information, so, that
difference should be made aware and respected. For some people getting
information can be grounding but for others it can also be very anxiety
● Remember that negativity is stronger than positivity (Tierney, J. &
Baumeister, R.) for one criticism try to provide four nice comments to
counteract – the Rule of Four- therefore, pick your battles! On the one
hand, let go of some things that are not important and on the other hand,
try to notice the good and nice things your partner is doing.
● Be appreciative but also be clear when you do it. For example, more than
saying “Thank you for doing the dishes!” it’s more powerful to mention
the other person’s trait. “ It was very kind of you to do the dishes”.
(Webinar with Esther Perel)
● Do stress tests (What is my anxiety level? Irritability level?) and be clear
about your emotional state when needed. Not only you’ll be more aware
of your feelings and behavior, but also the other person is clearer about
what is going on and can comfort you when you need it. (Webinar with
● Put some boundaries and be clear about them. Mostly, when you need
time to yourself or need time to exercise or to talk to a friend. As well as,
boundaries with space when you might need some room to work or to
relax. (Webinar with Esther Perel)
● Draw on creativity. You can celebrate a birthday or make a special
evening. Your creativity has no boundaries! (Webinar with Esther Perel)
● Be aware of your physical appearance, you don’t need to dress up but you
also do not have to spend three or more weeks on sweat pants or your
pajama’s bottoms. Not only the way you dress can impact on your mood
but also it may give the perception to your partner that you don’t care.
● Try to create a nice routine with special moments, it can be a nice
candlelight dinner or lunch outside, watching something enjoyable
together, or go out for a short walk (if possible). It’s easy to spend the
whole day together and not having any special time.
● How to manage conflict? In lockdown conflict is bound to happen,
frustration, irritability and impulsivity will be part of every day life.
Therefore, the first step is being able to discuss your emotions, anxieties
and differences openly. When tension escalates you can have a code word
so that you can stop and get back to it later. You can also ask “What can I
do to help you? (Webinar with Esther Perel)
Overall, it’s a time to be patient and to strike a balance between
acknowledge the whole range of your feelings and to be able to look at the
positive things in your life.
Webinar with Esther Perel April 1st, 2020.
Baumeister, R. & Tierney, J. (2019). The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect
Rules Us and How we We Can Rule It.