We are living in a crazy time right now of uncertainty! It’s okay to feel frustrated, uneasy, worried, angry, and emotionally drained. I know that for many people, shifting your daily schedules so suddenly can be challenging. I know, because I am having to make the same big shifts in the way I work with clients right now. I wanted to shed some light on how couples can continue to make the transition to being home from work and how to maneuver common challenges like setting boundaries and supporting each other at home.

Giving Each Other Space at Home

If you are both needing to work from home, be sure to designate a space in your home that you are both allowed to make your own for the time being. Will there be clutter in this space, yes! Will it be in your way, most likely. But this will not be permanent!

If you don’t have a designated space to work from at home, be sure to at least work at a table or desk. Working from your bed or couch can lead to back pain and probably falling back asleep.

Many people are used to separating home from work and now these two are very much blended. There is research that shows that a tidy home or workspace can help you de-stress and help you focus. So, do try to make some sort of organization with your space at home, even if that means stacking up your papers at the end of the workday. 

Schedules

I know it can be easy to just put on Netflix or a movie for some background noise, but over time, you may find yourself finding it challenging to concentrate if this is something new to you. Try to put some music on, work in 20-30-minute increments at a time before checking your phone, grabbing a snack, or turning on the TV. For many people, working from home does not mean a staycation, it means having to get work done in a different environment and having to adjust quickly.

Be sure you are still waking up at a normal time, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and getting in some exercise. Perhaps you can schedule a “lunch date” with your partner before returning to your workspace!

If you have children and suddenly have become your child’s new teacher, be sure to ask for resources and tips from their school. Children thrive with consistency and structure, so finding ways to implement this throughout your days will be most helpful!

​Communicate

If this is the first time that you and your partner are sharing a work environment, it’s essential that you both share your expectations for the day. Perhaps one partner is used to getting help from coworkers or sharing the most random thing during the middle of day and the other partner is used to working independently and being focused. These differences will quickly lead to some annoyances.
Be sure to share the following with your partner:

  • What is your preferred method of working?
    • Listening to music, working with sunlight, eating while you work
  • What do you find distracting?
  • How can I help you focus?
  • What is not working for you and why?
  • What do you find that energizes you during the day?
  • How will we make sure our kids are staying focused on their work as well?
  • Do you take breaks during work? What do they look like? (i.e. a walk outside, stretching, snacking, deep breathing)
  • How do you handle stress at work?
​Remember this is a new situation for everyone and your partner will most likely work differently from you. Find a way to understand each other and take it one day at a time. Be safe and let me know what is and what is not working for you!

By Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT

Priscilla specializes in working with couples and helping them learn ways to communicate in order for them to feel comfortable and supported during tough conversations. Priscilla understands that transitions can lead to stress and it is in these moments that strategic relationship skills are needed to implement. Feel free to look at the online services offered through Modern Wellness Counseling and check out the client portal to conveniently schedule your next appointment.

Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT (she/her/hers)

Priscilla specializes in working with couples and individuals who want to strengthen their relationship with themselves and with others. Priscilla utilizes research based techniques to help clients implement healthy coping skills and communication skills. Learn more on how you can enhance your relationship today.

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