All couples confront life difficulties and stressors in the course of their lives. This is especially so in for couples in love in the time of the coronavirus. Never has it been so crucial for couples to have tools to manage their relationship in an era of lockdowns and separation. A definitive of what it means to be in a caring relationship in this time is figuring out how to be available to each other during this time of fear and uncertainty. Even couples content with each other need coping strategies such as mindfulness to enhance their relationship.
People around the world are living in the “new normal” in an era of lockdown where the global economy faces a potential collapse with many losing their jobs. Many households are struggling not just with their finances but also relationships are under threat. Couples in love are forced to be separated in quarantines, stay at home orders and even across borders. However, the harsh reality is that lockdown measures could help flatten and decrease the rate of Covid 19 infections around the world.
The strict regulations on movements in almost every corner of the globe have influenced the love life of many who are either staying closer or separated miles apart. Many couples are postponing their weddings or learning to be creative around the situation by holding their weddings online. With online communication, couples who are separated can reduce their yearning via social apps such as WhatsApp to Skype and Zoom, though the lack of intimacy may be frustrating for some.
Couples separated due to the pandemic facing anxiety and worry about their relationship and issues can use meditation techniques for calming their nerves. But there is a way to stay in love in the time of the coronavirus without the anxiety about what the future brings. Couples can enjoy each other’s company by meditating together over their mobile phones. Through meditation exercises, they can engage in a calming activity together while enjoying time together in the present moment. John Hopkins University in Baltimore has found mindfulness meditation to be able to stave off anxiety, stress and depression after sifting through 19,000 meditation studies.
Breath meditation is one of the most common techniques for calming the mind. To start, you can choose to sit on a chair or on the floor in a cross-legged or full lotus posture comfortably. Sitting on a floor with the lotus posture helps stabilise and balance the body. Putting a meditation cushion underneath your buttocks with knees pointed to the ground could help with sitting for long periods of time. If you are sitting on a chair, place your feet flat on the ground with your spine well supported. Straighten your spine in a relaxed way to aid with sitting for long periods.
First, take three deep relaxing breaths without forcing deep breathing. Just breathe naturally and feel the sensations of the air entering through your nostrils. Then feel your breath moving through the walls of your throat, and into your lungs and your abdomen. Feel your breath leave your body as your abdomen falls, pushing up the diaphragm through the lungs, throat and out from the nostrils. You can bring awareness to the sensations of your breath moving in and out of your body. Or you can choose to settle your attention, feeling the rising and falling sensations of your breath in your abdomen.
Every time you feel your attention drifting towards thoughts, gently let the thought go and bring your mind back to your abdomen. Don’t yank your mind forcefully back to your abdomen. Over time, you will realise that thoughts do not stay. One thought comes and go, and is followed by another. With sustained practice, you will find more and more space and rest between thoughts. You can continue practising with your partner, and join a mindfulness training to expand your practice when you see results from your meditations.