How to Make Memories Together in a Time of Upheaval

During at time of upheaval, our lives feel very out of control. It’s very easy to get bogged down by the uncertainty, negativity, and anxiety associated with difficult times–whether economic, health-related, or otherwise. That’s why it’s so important to intentionally make memories together during the hard times.

It seems counterintuitive, but working to make happy memories helps you and your spouse find positive things to focus on. Rather than feeling deprived of happy times, you have the power to create them yourself. This can be pivotal for couples and families who are feeling the stress of a difficult time.

Today, we’ve pulled together some ideas you can put to work right away to make new memories during a time up upheaval. Let’s dive in.

Plan romantic date nights in

If this season of upheaval is causing you to miss out on your date nights, why not recreate them at home? You can share a romantic dinner, watch a movie, or even set up recreational activities to share together.

The goal here is to cultivate romance and make great memories in spite of what is happening around you. Even though you might have been forced out of your normal routines, that doesn’t mean you have to stop dating. You just need to adapt and reframe until things get back to normal.

With that in mind, take stock of what you have on hand–meal ingredients, candles, mood music–and enjoy one another’s company. Don’t be afraid to get dressed up and go all out, even if it feels a little silly in the moment. Make sure to take photos to look back on later.

Pick up a new shared activity

If you haven’t been spending time together in shared activities, now is a good time to begin. When the world around you feels like it’s falling apart, it’s important to create new anchors for yourself, including routines and activities you can control.

Do you have bicycles in the garage? Dust them off and go for a ride together. Board games stashed in the closet? Pull them out and have a game night. Go for a walk. Have a picnic. See what spots equipment you have on hand and play together. You’ll be surprised how quickly this play time you create together will lift your spirits.

Look for reasons to laugh

Sometimes, you have to go looking for reasons to laugh–that’s just a fact. When life feels unbearable, laughter is healing. We have a wide range of entertainment at our fingertips today, and if nothing else, it’s easy to find amusing videos online or to stream a funny TV show.

So seek out that humor. Let your kids make you laugh. Pull out the old joke book or fill out Mad-Libs together. Being intentional about laughing and smiling will go a long way while you wait out this period of upheaval.

Tell old stories

Most of us have stories to share that we’ve never told before, or that we just enjoy revisiting from time to time. If you have children, it can be especially valuable to set aside time to tell the stories of your family. Whether that’s stories about you and your spouse when you were children, or stories about their grandparents that you want them to hold close to their hearts, this is a wonderful time to revisit memories–and make new ones in the process.

Create new traditions

Times of upheaval can easily disrupt the traditions and rhythms we’re used to. That’s emotionally difficult, and there’s a period of grieving involved when we realize we aren’t going to be able to continue with life as usual–at least, for the moment.

So while you’re waiting for your normal routines to resume, why not create some new traditions? If a holiday falls in the middle of your time of crisis, find an alternative way to commemorate it.

For times outside the holidays, pick a specific day of the month or week and do something special that makes you happy and is easy to repeat. It could be as simple as a specific meal or treat on that day. Whatever you choose, enjoy it to its fullest. When you get on the other side of this season, you can carry those new traditions with you.

When this is all over…

We hope you’re able to walk away from a difficult experience with good memories, in spite of the bad. Will there be traumatic memories? For many people, there will be–and it’s important to hold space for sadness and grief.

But we also want to see you and your family come out of this season with a new appreciation for the blessings in life, and making happy memories will help you ensure that. So look for (and create) joy every day, and take care of one another as you share it.

What are you and your spouse doing to make memories during this time? Let us know in the comments section below.


  • Nick says:

    Loved “Good memories, in spite of the bad” rather than “good memories instead of the bad”

    Me and my spouse aren’t perfect, so there will be bad memories, but with forgiveness and empathy for each other, even the worst moments can be growing moments for us. Thanks for this article!!!

  • Kimberly Colbert says:

    I’m enjoying time just relaxing with my husband & taking walks. I’ve found plenty to keep my busy, but am struggling to engage my husband. He’s been fighting depression prior to this, and this time in the house isn’t helping. I’ve encouraged him to pick up his guitar, but he won’t. He just sits on the couch, phone in hand, and that’s it. I’m struggling to not nag, but pray. I feel guilty enjoying my crafts and reading while he just sits.

    • Hope says:

      Kimberly – I am praying for you both. A wife of a husband that battles major depression – my advice is pray for him – ENCOURAGE he seeks help and treatment and Take care of yourself the absolute BEST you can!! Focus on you as much as you can….God’s got him!

  • Rusty Shelton says:

    When my wife of 44 years and I exit our current work-from-home modes, I will miss the almost grad-school-like ambiance of our early, pre-Zoom years of marriage. These are unique and challenging times for sure, but God’s rich blessings abound when we embrace each moment and breathe into a slower pace.

  • Krysti Phillips says:

    I love this! My husband & I learned how to have fun date nights at home when we were traveling OTJ with no sitters… Every Friday night is our Date Night now. Although we enjoy going out and do often, some of our most memorable Date Night’s have been at home. Whether it’s casual dress with ToGo, country music, Back Porch Texas style or dressed up, making Hello Fresh and enjoying our candlelit dinner, it’s always worth it. BUT it took getting over those first funny feelings – making the effort – and appreciating it was an opportunity not worth wasting!
    Turn off your phones, tune into eachother, and make some memories while you’ve the chance!

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