How have you coped with the Covid-19 crisis?
Keeping mind, body and soul together during Lockdown means different things to different people. Via Twitter, a psychologist counsellor shared her wisdom on nurturing a relationship and on facebook an artist and teacher draws inspiration from the world around her.
Take a look here and see what you think. But more importantly tell us how you coped with the crisis, in love and creatively.
Words: Daphne Cooper Pictures: Annie Bisset
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 1
Starting Point. Next 3 weeks could be tough or terrific. Rather than fill your relationship with hopes and fears, research. Study effects of living in isolation with loved ones. Write down your findings, share with us. Be curious, not judgmental.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 2
Same Old? How was the weekend with your loved one, same same? Or did having all the time you’ve always wanted make a difference – for better, for worse, blessing or curse? Use that extra time to share something new to both - a game, hobby, puzzle.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 3
Drift or Decide. Often relationships get what’s left over after work, kids, chores. You can let it drift or decide that it needs more. Make conscious choices about what’ll keep it alive. Negotiate and talk about what’s required. Flourish don’t flounder.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 4
Turn Around Time. There’s no right way to respond to lockdown – you and your partner may have different approaches. See if what works for them, could work for you too. Take a risk, break your pattern.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 5
Unlock Imagination. Just because you’re cooped up, doesn’t mean your imagination is. Let it loose, pretend you just met, write a love letter, go on a ‘date’ dress up (or undress) for dinner – no limits. Have fun!
Weekend Work. When every day feels like Sunday, boundaries are blurring. Make sure to ring the weekend changes. Slow the pace, let rules relax and dissolve into small acts of kindness.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 7
Create Boundaries. With time and space at a premium, sharing both can be a challenge. If you can’t both go into a room of your own, agree on and schedule a period of sharing time together and non-speaking time apart.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 8
Check In. Internal stress, anxiety, irritability, anger, depression, fatigue, passivity levels through the roof? Check in on hope levels too. Keep a score on all and share. Acknowledging levels helps to regulate and not turn feelings against one another.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 9
Silent Treatment. Take an hour out of each day to be completely quiet. Be still, meditate, draw, cook just don’t talk. Other senses will be heightened and there’ll be so much more to share when the time is up.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 10
Just to be Clear. In confined spaces, communication has never been more important. Make sure you explain clearly, concisely when you a) are/aren’t available b) what you need/ want. And listen likewise. 2nd guessing causes confusion and complaint.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 11
Easter Rethink. Extended lockdown heightened feelings of frustration? Focus less on the feeling and more on the doing. Revisit plans and programmes, together – rise to the challenge. Do what needs to be done.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 12
Retell the Stories. Easter is the Big Story. But you have shared stories, histories. Dig into the past and revisit where you met, your first kiss… compare your version to their version. Agree, disagree, but laugh and enjoy! Have a Happy Easter
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 13
Big Turn Off. If you haven’t tried it already, switch off all devices and shut down all so-me, for a day, half a day, an hour – once a week. Try it same time together - see how much better you connect with each other.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 14
Anxiety Attack. Relationship reflecting the national ambient stress? Look outside yourselves. Do one thing to make a difference, together. Donate time or money, call a mutual friend in need of cheering. Reach beyond.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 15
Gratitude Attitude. In these testing times, don’t let your relationship become a complaints container. Allow a few cupfuls of thanks. Dig deep, you’ll find much to be grateful for. It really does make change.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 16
Running Dry? Now’s a good time to look at the role alcohol plays in your lives, individually + together. Relaxant, stimulates fun, sex, sleep? Loosens the tongue. Fuels fights and fatigue? How much, how little does it take? Judge yourself not the other.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 17
Food Focus. If you have the opportunity to buy, cook and eat what you like – do it mindfully, creatively together. Share and swap roles. Be adventurous. Light a candle. Make mealtimes special. They are. Some are starving.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 18
Tough Mind, Soft Heart. Like this crisis needs balance and perspective management, so does your relationship. Are feelings being acknowledged with understanding, are decisions clear and compassionate? Time for a balance shift?
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 19
Let it RAIN on your relationship! Recognise Allow Investigate Nurture. Identify and name feelings, understand them. Do what you need to do to ease hard ones and encourage good ones.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 20
Better Connection. Due to technology, an outcome of Lockdown has been connecting in circles BEYOND your immediate relationship/s. Honour these and note how they have helped you grow and extend yourselves.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 21
Sow Good SEED. Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Drink (water). All habits that form the bedrock of your lives, individually and together, and help you navigate change well and safely. Appreciate them for yourself, and where you can enable them for others.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 22
Plot & Plan. Post Pres’s speech, peep ahead. What’s going to be your first best move. How will you think, act differently – to the world, to each other? Lessons learned?
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 23
Play Time. Despite the serious situation, allow pleasure and play time. Give to others to stem guilt of privilege, but don’t lose sense of humour and fun
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 24
Free From..? Lockdown may have put the squeeze on your relationship, but has it also delivered some freedoms? Freedom to be clearer? Freedom to talk more, express more, play more? Imagination has no limits.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 25
Art Works. Fuel for the soul. Discover and share the joy of online theatre, music, movies, paintings and books – but above all nurture and encourage each other’s creative projects.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 26
Count down. Far from over, but locked down long enough to count the lessons learned – Patience, Compassion, Appreciation – or not? Make your respective lesson-lists and compare. See what you can learn from each other.
#LOCKDOWN RELATIONSHIP LESSON 27
Last Post. First 35 days – tick! And now? Are you hopeful, scared? Let’s move forward together. Share your relationship lessons and thoughts with us – email@example.com Look forward to hearing. Till then – Strength, Safety, Love.
couples, I am fascinated to know the effects of lockdown on relationships. Questions and tips for relationships during lockdown has been an interesting focus, and I’m looking forward to hear about the many experiences that will emerge.
inspiration. I chose to work within a circle, the radius of which is 8 cm. Within the brief I decided that a tiny clue in each should lead to the following day’s piece. And so my daily story began....
THE END. Thank you Daphne and Annie - and to you for reading and looking x
....which some of us were completely unable to resist! A wonderful walk in which the voices of women past and present were heard, loud and clear. To book a walk or find out about the next one coming up, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or check our facebook page. See you there! Nancy and Theresa xx
Present: Nancy Richards, Daphne Cooper, Theresa Smith, Nomfundo Macuphe, Beryl Eichenberger, Nina Geraghty, Gogo Gala, Avis Fisher, Shuli Heller, Celeste Matthews-Wanneburgh, Pam Evans, Christine Weir, Margi Biggs, Joanne Friedlander, Ruth Friedman, Nozuko, Xola, Alutha Taho, Simone Heradien (Artscape), Kubeshni Govender, Roxy Levy, Marva Basson-Dhilwayo, Catherine Burnet
And then the amazing team that produced 'Survivors' the commemorative book: Lorraine de Villiers of Opechee Design Studios (left), Board member who came up with the idea of the book then went ahead to compile content design and produce it. And Dulcie Kirby, busy music teacher who committed to writing the story - researching, not just the history but to conducting a wealth of interviews of staff and survivors. past and present. Written through the voice of a fictional 'survivor', the book is a read to make you cry, smile and cheer at the sheer bravery of sixty years worth of amazing women.
But no amount of care can help a broken woman if she doesn't care for herself - and Henrietta, a former resident at 'Sisters' gave a testimony that whilst bringing tears to the eyes of the panel and the audience, was filled with hope and inspiration. It is both powerful and empowering for a woman to have her story heard - and over the years, 'Sisters' have been there to listen.