Quarantine got you down because you’re home all the time? Think of it as an opportunity to get to know your partner better and to come up with creative ways to keep things fresh and fun during these next few weeks. Here are some of the top suggestions I came up with during this. They’re also good not just for being quarantined but for having a lazy weekend or an at-home weekend in the future! Here are 10 things to do at home with your partner during quarantine!
I’ll have a blog post about some binge worthy shows but I’d highly recommend Altered Carbon, a dystopian future where people’s minds are implanted after age 1 into a “stack” which allows them to live essentially–forever. Be sure to watch from Season 1 or you’ll be VERY lost. The Office is always a good choice or if you like humor that’s a bit edgier, Arrested Development with Jason Bateman, David Cross, and Portia De Rossi.
2. Take walks, subscribe to a free fitness program
I’ll be the first one to admit that I LOVE the ability to sit at home all day and not go anywhere. I teach at a gym a few times a week as a cycling instructor but sometimes its nice to have a few moments to myself. I promise you that a 20 minute walk around the block is going to make you much happier than just sitting on your butt all day. If you plan to have a TV binge day, your best bet is to walk first thing in the morning. Then it’s comfortville for the rest of the day. If you’re looking for something more active, find an online fitness group.
Here’s a group that some of my fellow gym members set up. It’s called Fitness and Accountability. We have people in there keeping one another accountable during this at home time and we even have a few of our instructors hosting Zumba on Zoom (Zoomba?), Body Pump, and some other fun workouts as well. Les Mills is offering a free trial membership and I believe free workouts via their on demand account through the entire quarantine. Here’s a link to it. They have lots of different workouts for all types of bodies and preferences! If you’ve got children or friends with children, Beachbody on Demand has some fun kid workouts available online for free! Here’s a link to those Beachbody workouts.
3. Organize your day and be intentional
If you’re working from home and that’s something you’re not accustomed to–I feel ya! I’ve been full time with photography for over a year now and the first few weeks were just a learning experience. Your best bet is to write down what you need to get done and check them off as you. But feel free to start your day intentionally and to be mindful and grateful for your health and that of your partners too! Have your coffee, enjoy a slower start. Then take a shower, get dressed, and put on those noise cancelling headphones. That will help a lot. Find a private spot to work in so that you’re best focused. During your offdays, schedule your day with your significant other, EVEN if that means Netflix binging all day. Have a scheduled time for lunch, dinner, and anything else you want to throw in there.
4. Love one another deeply.
Spending a lot of extra time with one another is definitely a blessing. But sometimes it feels a little overwhelming when you’re not used to it. I urge you and your partner to be intentional about your time and to just be grateful for the time that you have with one another. We don’t always get these times of rest in our lives and even with the circumstances at hand, it’s nice to be able to appreciate one another. Let each other know what you appreciate about one another. Sit with one another on the couch. Cuddle a little longer in the mornings.
5. At home wine/beer tastings!
Are you missing your favorite wineries as the weather gets pretty again? Thank goodness most of them are affiliated with vendors that sell their goods in stores. Next time you’re out getting groceries, head over to the liquor store and find the local wineries area. Try some new wines from your favorite wineries. Pick up three or four bottles and set them up in the kitchen, living room, or wherever. Try something a little different too! If you’re a sweet drinker, consider a semi-sweet or semi-dry like a Riesling or Gewurztraminer (pronounced gah-vurtz-tra-meen-er). Riesling pairs well with light cheeses such as swiss and butterkase, chicken, seafood, and crab. It also goes well with spicier foods like thai! YUM!
If you’re a fan of dry reds, try a Malbec (from Argentina!) and pair it with gamier meats such as buffalo or even ostrich! It fairs well against more pungent cheese such as gorgonzola and bleu cheese. If you’re vegan, it goes nicely with cashew cheese with lots of herbs!
One of my favorite dry red options is a red blend. This can be anything that has a mix of dry red grapes. My favorite is The Riddler from Stratton Lummis in the Napa Valley. It’s a mix of cab franc, cab sav, syrah, and merlot. It’s bold initially but super fruity once it’s had a few minutes to air and open up! (just open the cork and let it sit for 30 minutes or pour it in your glass and let it sit for a few minutes). It’s complex and amazing and so perfect. It pairs amazingly with roasted vegetables, sharp cheddar, smoked fish, or roasted meats. It’s so yummy and bold that it cuts through those heavier flavors and mingles so nicely.
If you like sweet wines exclusively, I recommend if you’re a local to Central Indiana–Carpenter Creek Cellars wines. They’re based in Remington, Indiana just off I-65 and have the best winemaker, Randy Rottler, who is a total genius and makes the best wine. Like I was mentioning about sweet wine, their sweets are Sunset Rose, Sunset Red, and Sunset White. If you like sweet grapey wine, The Sunset Red is made from Concord Grapes (the same as Welch’s grape juice). It’s similar to Soft Red from Oliver Winery–but better on all fronts. More complex but still sweet and easy drinking when chilled for some quarantine and chill. This pairs well with pizza, chocolate, or a tasty burger!
OUR FAVORITE of the three is DEFINITELY Sunset Rose. We are NOT Rose drinkers by any means. I feel like Rose got this amazing reputation from rich white women on TV drinking it because it’s a pretty pink color. Here’s the thing about Rose–it can be either sweet or dry but the majority of these are dry and probably not to your taste if you don’t like dry wine. This Rose, on the other hand, is JUST sweet enough to break up that tartness and is so perfect to pair with light cheeses and some tasty fruit platters. It’s made from Catawba grapes which give it a nice unique flavor and finish.
6. Learn a new language
Considering travel to a fancy new place like Greece or Spain for your honeymoon but don’t speak Greek or Spanish? No problem! You can be intentional with your evening time and dedicate 30 minutes or an 1 hour a day to practicing a new language together! Try Duolingo! There’s even an app for it! Along with practicing the language, consider creating a themed night to get you ready and excited for your upcoming honeymoon!
You can use sticky notes to label commonly used items around the house with its name in the language you’re learning. Don’t just stop there! Create a themed dinner around your honeymoon spot. Try out a new recipe on Pinterest such as Tortilla Espanola or Tortilla with Potatoes. In a nutshell, it’s KIND of like a quiche with potatoes but no crust. Here’s a recipe! It’s simple and found EVERYWHERE in Spain and since it’s made with eggs (oh yes, it’s an EGG based dish) it’s good all day!
7. Continue to communicate
Communication can become something that is easily taken for granted when we are spending a lot of time with one another. Can’t my partner just READ MY MIND? Sorry, Miss Cleo is long gone, caller, so let’s just assume that they can’t read your mind. That means that if you’re feeling some kind of way, communicate it! But communicate effectively and kindly. If you’re frustrated about something and you’ve been spending a lot of time around one another (hello, quarantine!) you may want to take a few moments to cool down before addressing the issue. Maybe it’s something simple like your partner’s laundry piling up on the floor or not cleaning up after themselves since they’re so used to working in an office. Use “I feel…” statements and as objectively as you can let them know what is going on.
This can be a scary and stressful time. Don’t let fear turn into anger and frustration. No one is in control of this pandemic and all we can do is stay at home, minimize contact with the world, and pray that this ends quickly! If you’re frustrated about a postponed wedding or honeymoon, it’s ok. Talk with your partner about it and let them know how you feel. By telling your partner about how you feel, you’re far more likely to grow your relationship to an even stronger place, but you might hear that they’re feeling the same way and you can comfort one another. Also, remember, it will all be ok!
8. Learn about your love languages
What is a love language? Simply, they are ways we express and receive love. They were written about in 1992 by a marriage counselor and pastor, Gary Chapman. He has a book available for purchase called The 5 Love Languages. It walks you and your partner through the 5 love languages which are: touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of serve. Understanding what these are for you and your partner will make you a better partner because when your love language is different than your partner’s, you end up serving them in ways that may not have as much meaning to them as you might think they do.
For instance, if one partner loves holding hands, giving kisses, and being held and another one loves performing services for the other, they miss an amazing opportunity to connect because what means most to that person is their own personal love language but what we also exude the most is what makes the most sense to us. Partner 1 loves touching and wants to be touched and doesn’t necessarily want the dishes done or their laundry folded. Partner 2 loves doing nice things for their partner but doesn’t touch their partner the way their partner would prefer with little things like backrubs, stroking of their hair, or even just holding hands.
It’s not that either partner is being insensitive but rather that they don’t know that the other would prefer something else to address their needs. By understanding that my wife prefers quality time and gifts over my acts of service helsp me to know that I need to schedule time with her and put real thought and effort into the little and big gifts that I surprise her with. My love language is acts of service and words of affirmation so when my wife folds my laundry, cleans the kitchen, or does something kind for me as a service without me asking, I am so enthralled and excited. It’s definitely worth a read. Here’s a link to the book!
9. Set goals for the future
It’s fun to dream about the future and sometimes being at home allows us the opportunity to see what we take for granted on a daily basis and to see things that could be improved. Currently, my wife and I are looking at purchasing a new couch. Unfortunately, with the slowed down economy, it’s not the best time for us to invest in that. Once things pick back up, it’s now a goal to purchase a couch soon.
Consider talking through that and setting a goal that by year 3, 5 or 10 you’ll both be interested in having a child and what that will do for you and how it will change your life. Other goals can be vacations you want to take in the future once this has passed whether it be this year or in the future! (I’ve got an amazing travel blog that I’m holding onto once the Coronavirus pandemic is over with amazing travel hacks and tips!). Planning out your vacations and the logistics and money will help you save proactively so that your vacation is easily accessible when the times come!
10. Take time to be alone.
Finally, it’s important to have time for yourself during these moments. Since we aren’t working our traditional 9 to 5 jobs and have that car ride home and away time from our partner, it’s nice to take a few minutes out of the day to turn on your favorite tunes and tune out, take a long shower, or even go for a walk by yourself. A marriage is a partnership between two people who are fully realized individuals. That means that we are entitled to our own thoughts and feelings. Being able to have a few of your own thoughts quietly or loudly (if you’re listening to music by yourself) can help you be your best for your partner!
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out these blogs below for more wedding planning and at home inspiration! How To Write Your Own Wedding Vows and 5 Things to Do Instead of Planning Your Wedding
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