First things first, I really love my husband - there's no one in this world I admire more and I genuinely feel lucky that he chooses me every day (is this sounding like an apology for writing this post?).

However, the thought of being in the same space with him EVERY SINGLE DAY for the next month makes me feel anxious.

Maybe you feel this too? Never fear, I've done the research for you. Here are some brilliant ideas for getting through the next month, relationship even stronger - or at least, intact.

Work separately - if you have the space in your house, try and do your work separately. We are, all of us, quite different people at work to the people we are at home and some things should remain a mystery in your relationship. More than that though, it means you can actually focus on your work and remain the high-performing superstar you are, instead of getting dragged into their concerns about "Kim, who just sent this crazy email..."

Connect with others - most workplaces will have organised team meetings by video by now. If your place hasn't, don't wait for someone else to do it, get on it. Organise your team into a daily ten-minute heartbeat video conference or call now. One place I worked in did this every day, in normal times and in tough times, and it makes for an organisation which stays connected together, one that looks after its people and drives to high performance. In these times, I think you probably need to organise the Friday drinks by video conference too. Don't forget to connect with others too. Five minutes a day facetiming with your friend on the Gold Coast, will do wonders, for you, and for them.

Exercise separately - the reality is that, even working from home, you are likely to have more time on your hands. While the gyms might be closed, it's still ok to walk or run outside. Try doing that separately so that you get your own space but also actually have something new to tell each other about.

Structure communication - don't roll your eyes at me, I know this sounds twee. But, if while everything is good you agree to try some structured communication, on the day it feels tough (and there will be tough days), you won't be trying to negotiate in a hail of bullets. So, how could we do that? Maybe every day, asking each other two questions, really listening (rather than waiting for your turn to speak) and taking action:

1) How are you feeling?

2) What's one thing I could do to make this easier for you?

Finally, pause - if you're feeling ten days in that maybe this is a sign of deeper relationship problems, pause, take a breath and keep perspective. There are media reports that divorce rates in China have risen due to the pressures of being together too much. These are crazy times for all of us, we will come through it to the next destination in our lives, so stay positive and remain adaptable.

PS - I'm not a marriage counsellor by any stretch of the imagination, but I do coach a lot on interpersonal relationships at work so I've just tried to apply those in a domestic context. If you have better ideas, please do comment. He waka eke noa.

  • Sara Broadhurst

These days are very tough for many people. Now is the moment to choose to make yourself the eye of the storm and use this to maintain emotional equilibrium.

What are some simple things you can do for yourself (and for others) to be the calm in amongst the fear? Here's three quick ideas:

Go on a diet - a diet of social media and the news. Whatever works for you - ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes at night maybe. If there are any dramatic announcements, you're not going to miss them. Just like eating all the chocolate might feel right in the moment, but leaves us feeling queasy and a bit mad at ourselves, too much time spent lost in all the links just ends up making us feel icky.

Talk about something else - every time I've spoken to friends, clients and family over the last few days, it's all we can talk about. Nicky, one of my clients, said to me "We must talk about something else, tell me about your crazy dog" and we ended up having a great chat which reminded us that even in these tough times, we have many things to be grateful for. So, thanks Nicky for the reminder and give it a go.

Finally, get out of your own head - too much ruminating is not a good thing for any of us but easily done at the moment. For me I get out of my own head by going for a run - I'm too busy being astounded at how bad a runner I am to think about anything else. For you, that might be playing golf, baking beautiful cakes, singing loudly (we recommend "White Lines" by Six60) or something else, anything else to make you concentrate on something that gives you pleasure and gets you in the flow. Just a few minutes each day.

Being the eye of the storm is about being kind to you and bringing calm to others - give it a try.

  • Sara Broadhurst

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

In times where things are unknown (like right now), it's easy to get lost in fearful thoughts of the future. However, this is the very moment when we can take action to maintain our composure and emotional equilibrium.

One tool to use is the Circle of Control. Think about the things that you can control, the things you care about and the things you have an interest in. When the times feel positive, we have the luxury of spending more time thinking about things we're interested in or that we care about. That's likely to include very important questions like "What's the cricket score?" and "Is chocolate really sustainable?".

When the times feel more challenging however, spending time thinking about things that interest us or we care about but actually have no control over... this is often just code for ruminating, worrying and ending up with anxious thoughts. It's useful to make sure we spend conscious time focusing on the things we can actually control and less time on the things we suddenly find "interesting" (binge watching negative news channels? - you know who you are!).

So here's a quick exercise - in these tricky times, what are three things you can control today? Here's some really simple suggestions: if you're worried about your revenue this year, reach out to key clients and offer help; if you're worried about your team losing productivity, ask them how they are feeling and listen with empathy; and if you're worried about your own health, take a really simple action - guidance from Texas Health is the favourite hand-washing advice we've seen so far.

Standing on the shoulders of giants - our Circle of Control model is adapted from Stephen Covey's Circles of Influence