Most people have no choice but to stay at home to keep themselves and others safe from COVID-19 with the community quarantine in place. To some, it’s a restful break or an opportunity to spend more time with the family as work from home is implemented. To others, however, it means being stuck at home with endless family drama, from children’s fights to chore wars.
Even if your family has a good relationship, the anxiety that the community quarantine and rising case numbers brings may result in emotions that are tougher to manage. It’s hard to think about how one can survive work at home, work productively, and stay positive all throughout this situation.
Here are some ways on how you can stay sane while locked up in your home:
Work together and communicate
Sit and talk about plans on how you can survive this home quarantine. This will set and manage expectations, at the same time, get everybody on board and avoiding conflicts along the way. These are the some things you need to discuss in your meeting:
► Kid’s activities. To keep little ones from fighting each other, prepare a game plan. Dedicate learning time in the morning, nap time at noon, and play time in the afternoon. While you allow children to have their screen time, make sure to limit it, as too much exposure can affect sleep quality, and therefore make them more restless and irritable.
► Task Allocation. Talk about who does what and when. If you need to work all throughout the day, perhaps you can take over the lunch dishes. After your shift ends in the afternoon, commit to doing the chore after dinner.
► Own health. Aside from chore wars, kids’ petty fights, and tantrums, the status of one’s health can make for a restless household. That’s why it’s important that you advise everyone to take basic health precautions, such as washing hands regularly, taking vitamins, eating healthy, and monitoring symptoms. This is especially crucial if you have loved ones who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.
Spend time with the family
It’s not just the kids who need to be entertained during quarantine time. Everybody in the family should experience some sense of leisure. The absence of such will take a toll on your health, and get you riled up even at the smallest of things. That said, make time for some meaningful family bonding. Here are the types of activities you can try:
► Fun: watch a movie, play some board games, go on a picnic and BBQ at your backyard
► Educational: bake a cake with kids, create arts and crafts
► Productive: exercise together, do some gardening, wash the car, make cleaning the house fun
Of course, keep the family traditions of eating lunch and dinner together, and telling kids stories every night.
Let each other breathe
As much as it’s crucial to spend time with each other, it’s equally important to let family members to have some personal time and space. Remember, you won’t be able to extend grace and compassion to others when you’re running empty on self-love. Whenever someone in the family takes time out from activities, let them and respect it. When a conflict starts, give the involved family members some time to calm down.
If you can include personal quiet time in your daily schedule, the better. Have the kids read or play on their own in their separate rooms. Give your partner the “me-time” they need in the garden.
Ask how your partner is doing
In today’s situation, it can bring out the worst worries — over job and business security, family’s health, food supply, and the ability to pay for bills on time. This can take a toll on you and your partner’s psychological well-being. It will manifest as irritation and anger. So, before you clash heads, commit to setting aside time to express your anxieties to each other. Listening to one another’s concern without judgement or interruptions every night will lighten the worries. Comfort your spouse and support them.
Create a friendly and loving home environment for the sake of everyone’s sanity.