For the past month, I have felt like it’s all been too much. Too much time in the house and too much money spent. Too much worry about when things will get back to “normal.” And, too much free time with nothing to do. If I am honest, too much time spent with my husband. And too much guilt for wanting some me-time.  

It is not selfish to take time apart for self-care.

I often believed that it was my job/responsibility to do and be everything that the people in my life needed (as a wife, mother, daughter, friend). I was tired, but I didn’t realize that you can’t give what you don’t have. As a result, I was resentful, and I expected everyone to do for me as I did for them. I hadn’t learned that self-care isn’t selfish. I had to find things that fulfilled me like reading, crocheting, and yoga. When my cup was full, it was easier to give freely to the people in my life. Especially, in the midst of COVID-19, we need to participate in activities that build us up physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s ok to do those things by yourself. Give your spouse space and time to do the same.

It is unrealistic to expect your spouse to be everything to you.

When we begin a new relationship, it is easy to focus all of our time, attention, and energy on that new relationship while neglecting established ones. It’s normal to want to spend time with that person. We even go and do things that we don’t like because they like them (i.e. shopping, watching sports, fishing, running, etc.). In the end, we set up this false expectation that we are always going to do everything together. Until it is said, I don’t really like college football. I only watched or went to the game because you liked it. Now, you feel hurt and betrayed. How can you prevent this from happening? Nurture all of your relationships even when starting a new one or an established one. 

Communicate your needs.

It is my responsibility to share with my spouse what I need. It is also my responsibility to recognize and respect the differences that my spouse and I have. I love shopping. I mean I love the hunt for a bargain. My husband’s shopping style is if you like it, buy it. So rather than be frustrated, I talked with my husband about it. He shared that the only reason that he goes shopping is because I like it. We agreed that it’s best if I go shopping with my bargain-hunting friend.

Conversely, he loves college football in the fall. I wasn’t a big fan, and I would feel neglected—like a “Saturday Widow.” He shared that this was a time for him to unwind. I understood his need, so that’s when my shopping trips would take place. We would get together after football and after shopping to recap our day. It was a win-win situation for both of us.

COVID-19 has changed our reality. When the “too-muchness” gets to you, take a few deep breaths. Go outside and feel the sun on your face and the breeze against your skin. Don’t feel guilty for wanting some me-time. Realize that this too shall pass. 

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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