When you live under a “shelter in place” order, as we currently do in California due to the spread of COVID-19, every day feels like a year. We are just about to hit two weeks of home confinement, but you’d think it’d been two months! As we settle into what looks like a prolonged stay at home, tensions rise, tempers flare, and the domestic tranquility one imagined by being forced to have a staycation, has flown out the window. The impetus for this post came from my weekly call with Luz and Luna yesterday, where we shared stories of our stressed out kin. In my family we joke that my parents’ 50-year marriage won’t last through the month because they are so tired of being cooped up together. And Luz shared a story about her newlywed daughter on the verge of fleeing her partner after less than a month of cohabitation.
Right now, the media is having a field day with predictions of a sharp rise in the divorce rate, partly because one city in China is reporting record-numbers of divorce filings following months of being cooped up. This is a departure from the usual predictions of the baby-boom brought on by confinement-inducing snowstorms, power outages, and the like. (We’re already calling these coronababies.) In all likelihood we will have both the boom and the bust. On one hand sex is a great way to pass the time, and on the other hand, if you’re boiling mad at your partner for not washing the dishes, then sex is the last thing on your mind.
In the spirit of restoring some domestic tranquility, here are a few tips for working on your heart rate, which will hopefully bring down the divorce rate. Fortunately for we Californians, cannabis businesses are considered an “essential business” so dispensaries remain open. Indulge in any of the activities below after taking one of LDLR’s Besitos—cannabis-infused pastilles—that have a calming effect.
Honor Your Rituals
The panic and fear accompanying this pandemic are real, we are in uncharted territory here. Trying to navigate your way through life as if things were “normal” just won’t cut it, because nothing about this is normal. Prioritize the things that help you cope. Maybe it’s a good morning kiss, a daily walk, an evening meditation. Get your partner to watch your kids or turn on cartoons so you can just find a moment in the day to decompress. One of my favorite rituals is very simple: it’s a perfectly-steeped cup of Earl Grey tea that I drink it out of the same colorful orange ceramic cup, before I start any of the day’s busy-ness. In my mind this ritual gets translated as “everything is going to be all right.”
Be honest with your partner about where this virus is hitting you deep inside. It wasn’t until I told my own 83-year-old parents that I needed them to stay at home because I was afraid of them dying, that they finally heard and (begrudgingly) stopped leaving their home. When we are honest, we are vulnerable, and that risk can lead to better understanding and deeper intimacy.
Give Yourself a Break…and Rewards
The world is in chaos so don’t expect your life to be much different. I’m so tired of reading articles with productive home-schooling or work-at-home tips. Now is the time to set your dial to the lowest bar possible, and give yourself a reward for achieving that! If I make it through the day without losing my temper that’s a big win. If I write create one thing: a meal, a letter, a blog post, that’s a bonus. And if I can make one other person’s life one iota better during this mess – by showing affection to a loved one, by helping a neighbor, by calling up an old friend, by sewing protective masks, well that is all that matters right now, and success is its own reward.
Despite all the advice about establishing a routine during this time (which I think is great for navigating life’s domestic drudgery), now is actually a great time to take a break from your romantic routine. Explore your sensuality and embrace Everyday Sexy together. Do you love your partner’s lavender scented shampoo? Smell it after she bathes and pay her a compliment. On your next walk, stop for a moment to admire the beauty of the new wildflowers blooming or the fruit trees blossoming. Is it your partner’s turn to cook? Offer to do it instead, and prepare something fragrant or treat them to takeout from her favorite restaurant. Take two minutes to pen a love note or amorous horoscope and leave it somewhere your partner will find it. When you bring all your senses into play like this, you fuel a more robust, full-body sensuality.
Lighten the Mood
Laughter relieves tension so give free rein to your silly side. Being a little high will do this for many, but even without that you can just commit to being a bit more playful, in bed and out! Games aren’t only for kids, consider picking up something fun like dirty dice or a role-play card game, and let the laughs fly.
I wish you all peace of mind, good health, and moments of beauty, as we navigate this pandemic together. Be well.