The Covid-19 pandemic has put a strain on our lifestyles and routines. Unfortunately, it seems to have also taken a toll on some marital relationships. A local study found that women were less satisfied with their marriage during and after the Circuit Breaker in 2020.

With Work From Home (WFH) arrangements and home-based learning keeping everyone indoors for longer periods, here are seven ways your spouse and you can strive for marital harmony during this trying time.

1. Exercise outdoors together

Living in close proximity to your spouse daily can lead to minor disagreements over the smallest of things. A change in scenery can take the edge off these negative sentiments. Where possible, make it a habit to start your day together with some exercise outdoors. It would be a good idea to take your kids along so they can release their pent-up energy before being confined at home for the day.

2. Spend some time in solitude

Every relationship, no matter how intense, needs space in order to thrive and grow. If you need a moment to yourself—take it. It doesn’t matter which part of the house you retire to, just find a spot where you can relax and have some alone time.

3. Have healthy conversations

Working from home need not be a bad thing. It presents a great opportunity to discuss matters that you won’t otherwise have time for when you are busy commuting to and from the office. Carve out some time after the work day to discuss important issues like kids, finances, chores, future plans, and work through them as a team.

4. Share the parenting load

Divide responsibilities equally by planning your kids’ days ahead of time. Decide who gets to supervise them during the first half of the day, then switch roles at the appointed time. But if both of you are busy at the same time, switch on the tv or rope in the help of extended family to entertain your kids through video calls.

5. Don’t hesitate to ask for help

Shared responsibility is the ideal way to get through this stressful time. If you have more on your plate than you can handle, don’t hesitate to communicate your needs. Your loving spouse would be more than happy to help you with your load. Couples are also less likely to fight when their needs are met.

6. Be kind to each other

Your kids are constantly looking at you as their role models. To prevent minor disagreements from escalating into big arguments in front of them, take a moment to clear your heads. You stand a higher chance of working through differences with understanding and empathy when you and your spouse calm and collected.

7. Speak your spouse’s love language

Now that you are spending more time together, try to be mindful of each other’s love languages. Observe how your spouse reacts to gestures of love, then respond in a way that is meaningful to them. When you speak your spouse’s love language, you send a strong signal that you are attempting to engage your spouse on a deeper level, thereby strengthening the marriage.