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Ep. 67 - The Newlywed's Coronavirus Survival Guide (& Passover!)

Episode 67 Overview

Today I'm going to talk to you about two main areas when it comes to surviving this whole COVID-19 situation as a newlywed.

First, our thoughts. How to manage our minds so we don’t go insane or start to hate our husbands. Second, (you won't be so surprised) hacks. Science and psychology based hacks are easy ways to improve your quality of life with a minimum of effort.

I'm also going to be talking a bit about getting ready for Pesach/Passover at the end, for those of you who celebrate.

Managing Stress During Quarantine - For Newlyweds

So let's start by taking a look inside your head. How are you thinking about this whole thing? Coronavirus, being home probably, still newly married...

For a lot of you I'm talking to, the thought sounds something like this: “this is all very bad.” It's a pretty vague and generic thought, actually, but it's plenty strong enough to stir up some anxiety, overwhelm...

What if you were wrong about that?

What if this whole Coronavirus situation could actually be really good for you? For your new marriage?

Actually, this could be a fantastic opportunity for growth for you.

You are in the major leagues now. You've been listening to this podcast, reading books, working on your relationship... now's the time to put all that to work. Now's the time for some major self-awareness, some fantastic growth potential.

What are you feeling and where is it coming from? And how are you a little wrong? How is the opposite also true?

Take some time to get some awareness. If you're feeling off-kilter or overwhelmed or stressed, or you just got to the bottom of the container of Oreos and nobody helped you...

Great time to take a look inside your brain.

Isolation and Newly Married Couples

Ok so now for some hacks:

  1. News restriction. When do you want to check? Take a day on. Take a day off. You could even ask your husband to keep you updated and just turn it all off. How many different places are you getting your news from? Twitter and WhatsApp and TV? Pick one. Narrow it down. The news is designed to suck you in. Put up some guardrails so you can maintain some mental space for yourself.

  2. Technology/social media restriction. eBook or book? Go for the physical book if you can. We are much more on our screens than usual. What can you do that’s tech-free, even if for only a few minutes a day? If you can still go for a walk, can you leave your phone at home? Or just make some boundaries--leave the phone out of the bedroom and dining area, for instance.

  3. More phone calls. There’s a hierarchy of meaningful communication, according to Actual live phone/video calls are best, so try to make at least one a day. After that, voice messages are better than text, and using emojis actually improves the connection quotient of a text message. Group messaging, which isn’t really personal, gives the feeling of socializing but doesn’t pack the same punch. So call your bestie.

  4. Getting outside as early as possible (minimum open a window). “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” Get some sun as early in the day as possible. This will support your circadian rhythm (good sleep hygiene!) and get you some much-needed Vitamin D for a mood and immunity boost (kindof exactly what we all need right now).

  5. Get productive. What have you wanted to do around the house? Do you have random paints around? Skip the Paint-Date places and DIY it at home! (Pro tip- use a youtube video. I tried to wing this on a home date with Noah and it was not so impressive.) Puzzles. Board games.

  6. Ask him on a date. This is especially fantastic if you’ve been wanting to spend more time, but he’s the one on his phone all day. Get dressed like you’re going out, set the table, and make something or order in. Phones aren’t invited.

  7. In general, expect less. Cut him slack. This is always a good motto, but now more than ever. Show up the way you want to be, as a wife and give him some space to deal with this as you need to. Yes, you’re going through the same thing right now, externally, but that doesn’t mean you’re experiencing it the same way.

Preparing to make Pesach/Passover as a Newlywed:

A lot of you are suddenly making Pesach by yourself for the first time. There is lots of motivation and inspiration going around right now, but most of it is geared towards women juggling many kids. So for you newlyweds, here are a few ideas:

Print out “surprise divrei Torah” to read together at the table. Don’t read them in advance. No pressure for anyone to study up, and you’ll have something to discuss at the table.

If you have time and need a project together (which, from what I’m hearing, many of you do), do the cleaning together and actually <gasp> consider a little organization or spring cleaning. Normally this is NOT what Pesach cleaning is about, but if you’re bored… why not? You have to know yourself--this is not good if you are feeling anxious already, but if this will make cleaning more exciting and fun, and you can add it without being stressed, do it! Listen to an online class or some music or just talk and enjoy the project.

I’ve always wanted a chicken soup seder, where the ONLY thing I serve for the main meal is chicken soup, because it’s so late and we’re so full, but we always had guests. Guess what I’m serving this year! (Feel free to steal my menu.)

Don’t worry about getting it right. Plan that it won’t be quite right. You’re experimenting. You’re learning this year. And that’s true for all of us, not just newlyweds. Nobody knows what they’re doing. We’re all in the same boat. 

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