Things to do When Stuck at Home with Your Partner to Help Your Relationship Thrive

Relationship

Things To Do When Stuck at Home | A Relationship Guide

You need things to do when stuck home during these COVID-19 times! We hear you! 🙂 Hey, we’re Des and Dan! Elopement photographers and guides (check out more about us here and more about what an elopement is here) helping couples create meaningful wedding days that are comfy, playful, and adventurous. We work with couples alllllllllllllll the time and love to serve them any way we can, so we put together this all inclusive list on how to help your relationship benefit from these unique quarantine times by giving you things to do when stuck at home. 🙂

5 relationship-building things to do when stuck at home with your partner:

“Stuck” is a harsh word, but that might be what you’re feeling. We’re coming at this with some real life experience, because we spend wayyyy more time together at home than the average couple since I work from home full time and Dan works from home with me part-time as we serve our couples with creating their wedding days and custom elopement packages, so we put together some of our favorite ways to keep our relationship not only surviving, but THRIVING when we feel a little stuck ourselves. They key is actually to not overcrowd your time with one another, and always be willing to give the other person their space. Here are some creative ways to grow together and still respect one another’s space while finding things to do when stuck at home! Let’s gooooooooooooooooooo!

Activity 1: Utilize podcasts separately, then discuss later.

This is a favorite of ours. Dan and I have a comedy podcast we listen to together (but apart from each other) every week on Mondays called, The Spitballers Podcast. It’s a family friendly podcast that is actually downright hilarious and stupid while being a stellar option of things to do when stuck at home. It keeps us young and helps us to be a little distracted from when life is hard. It is 100% couple approved, because the humor bridges over gender lines and is immature enough that kiddos love to listen to!

How it looks practically:

Dan listens to the podcast while he’s at work on Mondays, while I listen during my work breaks from home. On Monday night while we cook dinner, we discuss all the topics, what we thought was most hilarious, and how we disagree over some of their ramblings. It keeps pre-dinner conversation lighthearted and fun.

How to make it yours relationally:

You might have your own podcast you listen to together! So you can implement this activity with your own favorite. If you don’t already have one, get together and offer to try out a few until you find the right fit. We’ve tried history podcasts, relationship podcasts, and hobby-specific podcasts. Any will work as long as your are both enjoying the content enough to discuss later. But what if you’re both working from home and can’t really listen “separately?” Maybe one of you could put in earbuds and listen while you’re cleaning while the other person goes for a (socially distant) jog. Then discuss when you’re naturally together but conversation may lull.

What it does for your relationship emotionally:

This creates the feeling that you both are experiencing life apart from one another. When we’re trapped with our person full time, we kind of feel like we’re losing all individuality and freedom—like we’re 100% them instead of 100% us. And to be honest, keeping a relationship healthy is difficult if partners are not bringing anything new to the table. So listening separately and discussing together gives your relationship a sense of needed individuality and something distracting to converse through together.

Here are some other podcast recommendations we have from all over the board:

The Rise Together Podcast

The History Chicks Podcast

The Hardcore History Podcast

The Minimalists Podcast

A Sustainable Mind Podcast

Activity 2 for things to do when stuck at home: Be a willing participant in your partner’s favorite hobby and let them participate in yours.

This might be hard… I mean, it’s your partner’s hobby (and not yours) for a reason. For us, this means I have to willingly and gladly play video games. And Dan has to willingly and gladly pick up on my plethora of hobbies, because I find a new one just about every week for things to do when stuck at home. Until now you probably had the luxury of letting your partner do their thing while you did yours. Keeping your hobby to yourself might’ve been easier, but now we have the great opportunity to use hobbies to bring us together, not separate us further. They key with this one is attitude, because their hobby might not be appealing. But participating with joy opens up newness and brings excitement to your partner (and to yourself) in ways that you may have not seen before.

How it looks practically:

Dan and I commit to playing video games for at least a few hours a week so I’m engaging in his hobby. This might sound like a lot to someone who doesn’t play video games, but if you find the right game it can become pretty easy to add to your list of things to do when stuck at home. I’d suggest Animal Crossing: New Horizons for newbies like me! And if you don’t have the Nintendo Switch to play it on, I’d recommend getting one! It will come in handy later and is a great system for pros and beginners a like. As for how Dan participates in my hobby, my current hobby is house plants. How’s that a hobby?? Well it’s a hobby because I usually kill everything, so it’s actually a lot of work for me to help my little plant babes thrive. Dan participates by helping me water, listening to me rant about my plants, helping me research, repotting plants, all the things! And he does it all with excitement to help me feel loved.

How to make it yours relationally:

Think through: what are your hobbies that your partner does not participate in as things to do when stuck at home? Choose one each and decide to include the other person this week. Be sure this is a voluntary action on their part and that you can actually get excited about learning their skills and interests alongside them. Use the time to gently teach them your hobby and let them guide you in theirs with patience. It might be awkward, but laughing together while watching him hand letter is amazing.. Realizing you’re actually no good at woodworking or cross fit might be equally hilarious. Keep your learning and guiding lighthearted. Be sure you don’t overdo it but instead choose a definite amount of time—say, 30 minutes—per hobby so whichever partner is learning doesn’t feel trapped in something they may not actually be interested in.

What it does for your relationship emotionally:

Being a cheerful participant in your partner’s hobby shows them a few things below the surface. First, it shows them that you value them enough to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Second, it shows them their interests and opinions are valuable to you. And third, it creates a relaxing space for them in which to feel confident in their abilities. It does all of these same things for you when they participate in your hobby. Increasing laughter and confidence gives you both all the feel-goods! And we all need a little extra of that nowadays as we try to find things to do when stuck at home with our partners.

Activity 3: Go on a long hike (or do any outdoor physical activity) together.

Exercise, exercise, exercise!! Knowing where to hike in these times of national parks or public lands being shut down can be difficult, but online resources can be your best friend. Utilize community groups and government websites to see which trails are open and how long they are. Using an app like AllTrails can help you determine which hikes are close to you and how long they are. Be sure, however, that you are able to maintain appropriate social distance on these hikes and that the trails are not too crowded or you’ll be needing to find even more things to do when stuck at home while you quarantine.

How it looks practically:

Dan and I commit to hike down to a local reservoir a few times a week as a beautiful option of things to do when stuck at home. It’s about a 20 minute hike through pine forests until we reach the water’s edge where we usually set up an eno, read a book, and maybe take a sunny nap (if we’re being honest lolz). We get tons of physical activity and sunlight (hello vitamin D!) on this 40 minutes of hiking through rolling hills and unprecedented conversation time since it’s hard to hike and be staring at your phone without tripping. It’s also important to us that we chose a hiking trail close to our home so we could comply with our state’s stay at home order which allows outdoor recreation and physical activity when you are not required to drive to populated areas in which to do so. So choose your trails wisely and make them easy to get to. This makes it more likely you will return again and again.

How to make it yours relationally:

What trails or open areas do you have within walking distance of your home (even if it’s a long walking distance, amirite?”) where you can cash in on some physical activity and sunlight together. Hiking through pine forests and hammocking at reservoirs might not be your thing but perhaps disc golf is something you two enjoy! Why not pack up a yummy picnic and bring a book to utilize after so you can be physical and have some rest time outdoors? Some couples also love going on runs together (lol or in my case a slow jog). You might choose to add some competition to your outdoor activity together so it becomes less routine. Whatever you do to be physical—set a schedule with your newfound abundance of quality time to exercise together outdoors.

What it does for your relationship emotionally:

We all know exercise releases endorphins so we feel better. Endorphins should also pop in your mind when you’re concisdering things to do when stuck at home! Exercise is a free medicine for your soul. You’ll be in a better mood and thus generally enjoy your partner more. Vitamin D is an immune booster as well, so you’re doing yourself a huge favor in building your immune systems alongside one another. Your mood and overall health will heighten when implementing outdoor exercise with one another.

Here are some apps that might give you some help in being active outdoors:

7 Minute Workout

Sworkit

With these apps, we love to let each person pick a few workouts and add them to the que when we’re working out outside so each person gets to work out a part of their body they want while still letting the other person contribute to the workout.

Activity 4: Implement strategic dance parties as things to do when stuck at home.

This one is really one of my favorites, because it is so simple but brings so much benefit to your indoor space. But what even is a strategic dance party? Let’s break it down. We all know dance parties… but we need to make home dance parties strategic—meaning we need to choose a time when they are most beneficial to our relationship. This isn’t any old dance party. This is a dance party that changes the dynamic of your relationship. 🙂

How it looks practically:

Every day. At 12:30. Everything stops in our home. We run to the kitchen and turn on the radio to find the first piece of music clear enough to come through and dance our hearts out to whatever we find as an zaney option of things to do when stuck at home. Ya see, we discovered that we would get all blahhhhh after lunch and would try to find music to keep our mood productive and growing throughout the day, but we couldn’t ever agree on music that we both wanted on for long periods. So we determined that we would have a dance party in our house everyday at 12:30 with whatever music came on first so we would have a chance to pump up our spirits and be creative with whatever we were given. It’s really goofy, and it often turns into a lot of weird interpretive dance for about 5 minutes, but it has been one of the most life-giving things we’ve done.

How to make it yours relationally:

Your house is probably pretty different. You might notice you need a pick-me-up around 4 pm when you’re attempting to finish that last hour of work. And maybe you both love a specific type of music that you can jam to. So choose a time you need a lift most and commit to jamming out together doing really weird and hilarious dance moves every day at that time.

What it does for your relationship emotionally:

All relationships need a strategically awkward pick-me-up. There is so much growth in willing to be goofy and look ridiculous in front of each other. This puts both of you on even playing ground and gives you a “hard-stop” from what you’re doing in work or life that might seem to be weighing you down. You can find peace and joy in 5 minutes of acting ridiculously goofy with your partner. The goofier, the better.

In fact, here’s a youtube video you could put on and attempt to follow their dance moves together, because they are absolutely outrageous. 🙂

I literally cry from laughter every time we attempt to follow this video. So enjoy!

Activity 5: Surprise virtual double date with another couple you miss.

OOOOOOO this one is so. fun. We all miss people, and we all miss our couple friends. I guarantee they’re also looking for things to do when stuck at home. Plus it’s kinda hard to feel like anything is much more of a date anymore when you can’t get out or see anyone that’s not your immediate family. So now we have the opportunity to give ourselves a real “date” AND help another couple feel loved and included. So there are two ways to do this: in surprise form or not surprise form.

Honestly, surprising is more fun so we’ll dive into that one!

What it looks like practically:

Dan & I text one of our couple friends: “Hey, do you have plans Thursday night?” And guess what—they don’t. Because they can’t. Haha so we say, “Clear your Thursday night and get ready for a surprise at 6:00 pm. Don’t eat dinner!” Dan & I have been using a grocery delivery service called Shipt since January that we love, and they are critical in this particular activity. They deliver from major grocery stores and health food stores all over the United States, and here’s a code that will get you $10 off your subscription fee!

So we sit down and put in our Shipt app to send our dear couples friends a bottle (or two or eighteen) of wine, one of those classy grocery store bouquets, and some simple ingredients to make a quick and healthy dinner. Shipt shows up at their door at 6:00 pm on Thursday with everything they need to cook a delicious dinner, celebrate with a drink, and participate in a virtual double date. We facetime them, cook over facetime with them, eat dinner via facetime with them, and say goodnight feeling like we were in an entirely different world than we were in at 5:59.

How to make it yours relationally:

You might not have a grocery delivery subscription, but maybe Ubereats is more your style. Send over a yummy meal to your double date friends that’s already prepared and do a less intensive version by just doing a 30 minute sit down meal over facetime together. And hey, it doesn’t actually have to be over a meal either. If you and another couple really love hiking together, make plans to hike in two separate trails on Saturday and facetime periodically to show them views and hangout over a picnic at the summit. It’s also as simple as dropping off their favorite drink on their doorstop and texting them, “hey I just left you something fun! Let’s chat while you enjoy it!” Whatever makes sense to you and your couple friends is how you should virtual double date.

What this does for your relationship emotionally:

Looking to the future and social interactions is so meaningful in times like these where you may feel exhaustion and isolation. Planning something to look forward to and really making a big deal out of it can bring something different to your week that may start to seem mundane. It also gives you a reason to put on more than sweatpants and a reason to spruce up your living space a bit. You will feel more productive and incredibly seen by your partner as they help you prepare for a double date that is catered to you and what you enjoy—even if it has to be incredibly creative and look different than normal. And BONUS: your couple friends will have something to look forward to as well. They will feel so seen and loved in times when they might feel like they’re drowning as well. It’s a win-win-10,000x’s-win for everyone.

But wait, did these spark any of your own ideas for things to do when stuck at home?

You are your own person in your own relationship. You have ideas bouncing around, and I’m sure you just need a little boost. So here it is: YOU CAN DO THIS. Your relationship can do this. And you will come out of this present crisis with an abundance of joy knowing that your relationship is stronger because of it.

Meanwhile, we’d love to know what you think about these ideas! Leave us a comment and let us (and everyone else) know which one you’ll be doing and how you’ll put your spin on it.

We can’t wait to chat with you.

Oh, and while we’re here… if you’re engaged and looking to elope, hit that button below to learn more.

We’re real folks with real hearts trying to help our world, so let us helps yours. 🙂

Hey, it’s us!

We’re Des & Dan! Husband & wife elopement photographers, planners, and officiants! We help couples like you create elopement days full of meaningful details, authentic moments, and creative experiences because we believe you deserve a wedding day where you are truly heard—a wedding day you can truly remember.

We’d love to help in any way you can, so check out our other free planning resources or send us an email by hitting contact! We’d love to hop on the phone and see what you’re envisioning for your elopement day.

You deserve this.

Des & Dan

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