We’re all going to spending a lot more time with our family over the coming weeks – and it’s okay to admit that it’s going to be a challenge. Yes, you can acknowledge that you’re lucky to have your health and your family and still admit that spending excess time with them will be difficult. Here are a few tips for getting through these weeks at home.
Get on the same page. It can be helpful to sit down with your family and explain your expectations, but you should also plan on listening to others, too. Have a discussion about what everyone things will be challenging during your quarantine time and how you can help each other out.
Have a schedule. You don’t have to have a strict hour-by-hour schedule (unless you want one, of course!), but having some basic idea of what everyone should be doing and when can help when you’re dealing with uncertainty. Just remember that it’s okay to go off schedule when you need to. A schedule is designed to help you. If it’s not doing that, it’s okay to try something else.
Be kind to yourself. You know you’re supposed to put on your own oxygen mask first, right? This is no different: you can’t take care of anyone else if you’re not okay. Take some time and acknowledge that this is scary and stressful.
Spend some time alone. Your family may be forced to stay under one roof, but that doesn’t mean you all need to stay in one room. Carve out your own space where you can relax and help other members of your family do the same thing. That allows everyone to have a safe space if they need a break from each other – and, chances are, they will.
Escape when you need to. Call, chat or video chat with a friend. Watch a movie. Take a virtual tour of a national park (https://artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/national-parks-service/parks). Read a book or watch a movie. Do your own thing.
Get moving. Physical activity is important all the time, but it’s even more so now. Activity will boost your mood and your health. The weather is getting better, so get outside for a walk, a run or a bike ride if you can. If not, try an indoor workout; plenty of free content is available online.
Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, and it’s likely to arise even more when we’re all under stress, like we are now. The first step in any form of conflict resolution is to acknowledge that conflict and arguments will occur. Ignoring conflict or disagreements won’t help, but neither will overreacting.
Here are some basic tips for dealing with conflict resolution:
- Stay cool and calm.
- Decide what outcome you want.
- Listen. Try to empathize with each person’s viewpoint.
- Avoid personal attacks.
- React as calmly and non-defensively as possible. Leave emotion out of it.
- Seek compromise when possible.
- Be ready to forgive and forget without holding on to resentment.