“Date” Day (and Night) Ideas For Couples Staying In!

With all the chaos and panic happening in the world these past few months surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, most of us in the SCI community are laying low and staying cautious. A lot of us are self isolating and informing ourselves on what we can do in order to ensure our home is safe for ourselves and our loved ones affected by SCI.

It is well known that people who have Spinal Cord Injuries, especially higher level ones, could have reduced immunity responses or respiratory issues stemming from various secondary conditions stemming from their injuries. For myself, that I am extra cautious in everyday life because I have seen how “getting sick” or a common cold can impact my C4 Quadriplegic husband more severely than most people. No one seems to understand this fact that is not living this life themselves, so I always am educating my family and friends about ensuring they are not sick when they’re around my husband.

During cold and flu season I myself am generally more conscious of ways to avoid getting sick, because as i’m sure a lot of WAGS of SCI out there can attest to, being sick and being a caregiver do NOT go hand and hand. In fact, it’s one of the worst feelings ever. It’s nearly impossible to provide the best care when you yourself are ill, and you wouldn't want to be the one who gets your partner sick either. It’s a tough situation, so its no wonder our community is being extra cautious and employing some self protectionist measures until we know more about this virus. Taking additional precautions is not something to be ashamed of or apologetic for, it’s better to be safer rather than sorry. Being diligent while educating yourself, but not being afraid, Is key during this uncertain time in the world.

Now I am sure you’re slightly tired of hearing about this virus by now, especially if you are staying home and self isolating for the time being. It is tough to stay home for longer periods of time, and I am sure most of you have already watched most the movies on your Netflix list by now. SO if you are in a relationship with someone with a Spinal Cord Injury, and you’re staying home for the time being, how do you spice up that time at home?

Here are some ways you can make the most of your time at home as a couple, especially when limited mobility is a big issue in your household. As a Quad Wife, I often get bored doing the same old things with my partner so we have to get creative. Here are some ideas of how to keep you both entertained, while promoting growth in your relationship.

Make your home a place you want to be in.

Take some time to clean up and “Feng Shui” (google it!) the rooms of your house, especially the bedroom and living room where you probably will be spending most of your time. Clean out the drawers, add some candles to areas, maybe even add in a diffuser with anti-viral essential oils in them. These little steps will make you feel better staying at home for longer periods of time, and generally make you feel more relaxed. Your home needs to be a place you actually want to spend time in, and mentally, these little changes will make you feel so much clearer. You know you’ve always wanted to clean out those closets - now’s the time!

Meditate.. Together!

Have you ever done a joint meditation? If you haven't - now is the time to start! Put a guided meditation on of your choice on one of your speakers and spend some time each day meditating. You know you’ve tried to get into doing it regularly before, and haven't been able to due to the thousands of things every day that take up your time. So NOW is your chance! Meditation has been proven to help alleviate stress and anxiety, and doing a JOINT meditation is just that much more powerful! So sit in a comfortable place, light some candles, and become one with your thoughts.. together!

Audio Books

You know that book you’ve always wanted to read but haven't had the time to devote to it yet? Now is your chance to collaborate with your partner and find a book you are both interested in. Then, grab a blanket, get comfy on the couch with some tea or wine, and listen to your book of choice. Doing this together not only brings you closer in your shared topic of interest, but it gives you something to discuss afterward.

Learn Something New

We all have thought about learning a new language or even a new skill. Sign up for Masterclass and learn everything from cooking and fashion to photography, writing, speaking and more.. all from experts in their industries. It’s even available on Apple TV so you can watch on your home TV! Its relatively inexpensive for a year subscription, and from someone who has done a lot of the courses, its totally worth it. You will find new skills you can learn together, and expand your horizons as a couple!

Learning a new language is a skill that everyone should have in life. It opens new doors in travel and careers, and it exposes you to new cultures while testing your patience. This is a GREAT activity to do together as a couple because it doesn’t require any mobility, and you can progress to speaking it to one another to learn the language faster. My husband and I are learning via Rosetta Stone Italian and we love the program! There are many language programs available online, so choose your favourite and get going!

Make Your Own “At Home” Food and Wine Tasting

We all like to go out with our partners for a great meal. Tasting new foods and trying new wines is something that doesn’t require any mobility to do - only your senses, that’s why a lot of couples in our community love doing this. But what if you're stuck at home? Make your own food and wine tasting at home by ordering in or picking up some good cheeses, meats, some pickled vegetables and breads or crackers, and pair with your favourite wines. Usually cheeses and veggies last a long time in the fridge, so your investment will be good for multiple nights. You can also even do this with random items leftover in your fridge and create your own platters! The options are endless, and there is always fun to be had during. Browse on Pinterest for some pretty platter ideas, and look up some unique wine pairings to accompany them. My husband and I like to go online and get pairing advice from Wine Foley and watch some

YouTube videos on what wine to pair with what food, so we get that educational piece in there too.

Games + Crafts

If you both are games people, this is a great time to host a tournament in your own home for whatever game you like to play together. Do a “best of” series and assign mini prizes to whoever wins the series. Get creative with your prizes.. personalized thoughtful “actions” are usually the best, and don’t require you spending any money. If your partner is a video gamer and you’re not, open our mind up and get him to teach you how to play a video or computer game that he loves in multi-player format. He will love to show you the ropes, and you never know.. you may just have some fun you never knew was possible!

Crafting is something that anyone can do, and if your partner is a higher level injury, crafts can be a great way to practice hand activity. Who says “hands class” cant be fun!? Browse the internet for some fun crafts you can do with items you already have around the home, or, make a list of crafts you both want To do and run out and grab the items from the store when it’s a less busy time.. don’t forget to wash your hands upon your return!

Movie Marathon

This may come as obvious to many, but watching a movie marathon with multiple instalments is something that really is relaxing. Movies like Lord of the Rings and The Godfather all have longer running times and are GREAT movies, so why not watch them all now?

You also probably have some documentary films you have always wanted to watch together - so make the most of your TV time!

Write Your Story or Journal

Most couples living this life together have a story they need to share. Whether it is how you met, or your journey after paralysis, ALL couples in our situation have something very unique to share with the world - it doesn’t matter where you're from or who you are. Why not start that essay or book you’ve always wanted to start now? Together! With the vast amount of self publishing tools available online for a very reasonable price, how cool would it be to have your love story and journey documented in a book form? Work together on this and it is a great way to bring you closer, and how romantic would that be? Talk about an amazing coffee table book 🙂

Get Into Podcasts

There are literally thousands of Podcasts online nowadays for every interest and topic. Take a moment and browse some podcasts together and listen! Now is the time to devote to hearing insights from whoever or whatever you’re interested in. We have a brand new Podcast called “WAGS of SCI: The Podcast” and just released episode 20 this week. Take a listen and you will probably find some content there that is relatable! It’s available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I hope that these ideas have gotten you thinking about how to maximize your home time and also benefit your relationship! As a community we have to come together and protect ourselves and our loved ones, so why not make this time a time to really dig deep and improve your life in many ways?

Sending love and light to all of you out there in our community

Brooke Pagé, Co-Founder of WAGS of SCI