Love in the Time of COVID: Valentine’s Day 2021
If your relationship has hit a bit of a rough patch in the time of COVID-19, you’re not alone. Even the closest couples may have found themselves with too much of a good thing when lockdowns limited other social interactions. They may feel like they need some space. On the other hand, couples who don’t live together have been unable to see much of each other in person. They may feel like it’s been hard to stay together/apart. And meeting someone new has been extra challenging when we’re hardly meeting anyone at all.
Most relationships flourish when both people are open and flexible. When controlling the spread of the virus forced us to be closed down and uptight, it’s no surprise that our interactions with loved ones may have suffered. It’s hard to find balance when something external keeps tipping the scales. When we acknowledge that the conditions that have made things difficult are out of our control and temporary, we may be better able to take a step back and cultivate (and then communicate) our gratitude for those we love.
You’re in this Together
Communicating with your partner about the ways that you are both experiencing difficult situations like quarantines, isolation, and loneliness can bring you together instead of driving you apart. Every person has a different reaction to the news cycle and a different interpretation of what feels safe. Give your partner space for their feelings and ask for the same from them. The tools we have been building over the last year to deal with uncertainty, like focusing on near term and controlling what we can, also work to strengthen our relationships.
Grateful for You
Taking the time to identify and recognise the good things we have in our relationships strengthens them. The practice of gratitude allows us to focus on the positive, which makes us happier. There may be a lot of downsides to being separated from a loved one (or, conversely, spending all your time together) but consciously finding and naming the upsides and feeling grateful to have this person in your life makes it possible to endure.
Valentine’s Day is often celebrated with gifts and sweets. Make sure to express your feelings of love and gratitude overtly as well. Relationships that weather the storm depend on being emotionally available to each other during the difficult times as well as the good ones.
Mat Time Is Your Time
Time spent on your yoga mat gives you what you need to face your challenges. It’s an oasis where you can reconnect to yourself and find the well of gratitude that nourishes your relationships. If your heart centre feels contracted, you can expand it through targeted poses. Work things out in your body and your head will soon follow.
Any time spent on your mat helps reduce stress and tension, which aren’t very good for any of our relationships. Becoming more flexible in your body encourages flexibility in your mind, making you more open to possibility, better able to see another person’s perspectives, and more willing to compromise and change when necessary.
The openness and flexibility we’re missing in our locked-down lives can be found on our mats, to the great benefit of everyone we love and care for.