As we reach the second week of lockdown and the cases of Covid-19 continue to rise, claustrophobia for many will be setting in. Whilst it’s difficult not to think about when life will return to normal, it’s important to put some measures in place to manage the challenges faced by those who are in isolation with family or friends. Even those we love dearly can get on our nerves when we’re stuck inside with them for long enough…
Although this may limit loneliness, it will bring with it numerous challenges. Covid-19 is not the only thing that’s contagious, moods can also be infectious, and one persons stress or anxiety, can easily affect an entire household. Stress is directly linked to conflict, especially when in confined spaces and so, here’s some ways to avoid it:
Nature is a natural stress antidote and fresh air will help to bust any stress or anxiety. Take advantage of your one allocated trip a day and enjoy a quiet walk together to reconnect whilst out of the house.
Allocate ‘ME’ Time
We all need room to decompress – especially after a difficult day, and so make time for yourself every day – be it a long bath, early night or pampering session. You can’t emotionally be everything to everyone else when you’re running on empty, so be sure to fill your own cup first.
Being active will lift your mood via the release of endorphins, as well as reducing feelings of tension. If it’s not possible to leave the house, then take yourself off somewhere quiet for a workout. There are plenty to choose from online.
Take Time Out
Another strategy to reduce conflict is to have some time away from each other – we all need space and so if you start to feel that a situation is likely to escalate, it is a good idea to take at least a 15-minute time out. Sit in separate rooms and let everyone calm down. If you don’t have space to be in a separate room, then why not set up a calm down corner, a space where anyone who needs to be alone can spend time.
Make sure that you both socialise with your own friends to let off steam – utilise technology such as Zoom, House Party or FaceTIme and enjoy a night and few drinks with your besties.
Kids missing their friends? Let them enjoy virtual play dated and see the tension disappear following interaction with their favourite playmates.
It may be necessary to set some new house rules during this time in lockdown. Being in close proximity all the time is bound to make tempers fray more easily, and so now is a great time to set some boundaries to ensure that everyone pulls their own weight to prevent friction and frustration.
Share the Load
From keeping the house functioning, to family management, if you have to work and juggle childcare, then establish a rota so that you each have dedicated time to work without distractions. Agree how to handle things together and try to focus on the short term to make things as positive as you can. Take things one day at a time and lean on each other. Everyone will have up and down days. Also be sure to make a plan on how you will cope if one of you does become poorly. How will you shop for essential provisions? How will you juggle parenting, work and providing care for the other?
Calm Amidst the Chaos
Remember to be kind. Thinking before we speak, keeping ourselves in check and taking deep breaths will all help to prevent situations escalating. Think before you criticise and pick your battles. Is it really worth an argument?
In times of crisis and uncertainty we must remember to look after ourselves and each other. A few useful links for more advice and information from trusted sources are included here below: