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Let’s just admit that being around our partners 24/7 is an unusual state of affairs. Don’t get me wrong. Some people LOVE to be with their significant other all the time. But when we are forced to be together by something like a pandemic over many, many months (I count 9), some people get pretty distressed in one way or another: stir crazy, bored, lonely, restless, agitated, depressed, and/or anxious.
We have all been living during one of the most extraordinary times in our lives this past year. People have experienced and still experience a whole range of emotions from great fear and terror to anger to out-of-control-ness to relaxation and peace. We spiral between these feelings, having some excellent days and some terrible days. And some people enjoy the fact that they can’t leave home. So many different reactions, so unique to the individual and to the couple.
How can current couples, whether physically distant or close in proximity, survive and even thrive during this pandemic?
How can we not lose connection with each other, and how do we deepen or strengthen our connection during such a tragic time? Without regular, brief separations throughout a day, partners may not look or feel the same. If you are eating every meal together, not going out much, and not even being able to enjoy friends or family indoors, you may lose some of the joy or energy you usually feel. If one part of the couple has been laid off or your business has closed, you may be experiencing severe financial stresses. How can any of us be good partners if we are suffering or struggling ourselves with our moods and lack of outlets, like going to the gym to work out our stresses?
A pandemic is a real test of partnership. Being with someone without the daily, brief separations of work and other contacts, we may not be enthused by our partner’s constant presence. We may need more time alone. Some partners, though housed together, still don’t seem to enjoy quality time with each other when the days go on and on without some changes in the air.
With parenting? I feel much sympathy (and perhaps envy) for couples who are currently parents, who are continually juggling their work schedules with kids’ school schedules and needs. We used to be tired after a full day of work anyway, and now life seems even more exhausting. Who is up for an exciting, energetic evening of glorious lovemaking after such days?
During pandemic, people who have open relationships or who are polyamorous may be more worried about infection being shared. Careful practices and good communication are necessary, or more than usual conflict can occur.
The fact is that we need to attend to our relationships and partnerships no matter what is going on in the world. Now, there is more risk of couples breaking up and some feel stuck in difficult relationships because they aren’t able to easily leave due to financial or emotional strain. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) has risen in numbers, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
Couples, who are distant physically from each other given the limits of transportation and safety during the pandemic, have a hard time as well. When conflict occurs in long distance relationships, it can be difficult to communicate effectively and resolve these conflicts when you can’t be near each other to enjoy the benefits of being a couple as well.
The truth is that every couple is unique. And, each person in the couple is unique so it is impossible to offer a recipe for couples to follow to survive and thrive during this pandemic. But, I will try:
- Spend quality time with each other. Find time and space to be together, alone together, participating in some activity together or just being with each other. Privacy and cuddling are also important.
- If you are not in your partner’s bubble of safety, you have to evaluate risk. Is it more risky to the couple’s health for you to quarantine, or is it less risky to be together even if you get infected? Illness and death are no jokes during this pandemic. But, relationships need nurturing as well. What happens in most couples is that each person may have different opinions and beliefs about risk and health. How you resolve these differences matters.
- Each part of the couple needs to take good care of themselves. If you don’t take care of yourself, emotions may be heightened and excellent communication is difficult when you are feeling tired, anxious, distressed, or hungry.
- Explore new activities for the couple, like chess, card games, TV series, walks in nature, and outdoor activities with friends. Find creative ways to enjoy life, like singing, dancing, meditating, yoga, and artwork. Working together on a common project can enhance your relationship or prompt more difficulties.
- Seeking professional assistance may help couples weather this pandemic. Counselors, psychotherapists, couples therapists, coaches, and ministers/rabbis/imams are available.
- Take some time outs from each other. Take a break, be alone for a while, take some deep breaths, and let yourself relax. Then, wonder how you are feeling and be curious about how you might be participating in any current distress. Above all, try being compassionate not only with your partner but with yourself.
- The pandemic is an excellent time to participate in a process called “shadow work,” which means working intensely inside yourself, exploring all of your parts, from the positive and peaceful parts to those negative, critical, and judgmental parts. Shadow work is usually done in a professional setting because we all need facilitation and support outside of ourselves when doing this kind of deep work which can be so freeing and life restoring for individuals and couples.
My hope is that we can each bring more grace, forgiveness and gentleness to everyone, ourselves first and foremost. If we can focus on values like love and nonviolence, then perhaps we can help to create a new world where people care about community rather than just about themselves.
Couples are a wonderful place to explore and understand yourself better while you practice new ways of acting and being. Instead of holding on to black and white thinking, we realize that there is a lot of gray and many other colors inside us and all around us. Our job is to take care of ourselves so that we can better communicate with and be in relationship with others, especially with our partners.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.