Please welcome my guest, Emma Grace Brown. She wrote a very helpful article about all that time you/we are spending at home, and offers some friendly tips on how to navigate all of our togetherness.
So without further adieu, here’s Emma Grace:
How to Let Go of Family Tension While Self-Isolating
Stuck inside? Staying at home may be good for your community, but it can be a little bit rough on your family. You only have to be home-bound for a few days to start getting a bit of cabin fever, and it may still be months before we’re back to normal. It’s no wonder many families are starting to find themselves at one other’s throats on occasion.
Fortunately, there are several ways to release that tension and overcome your cabin fever. With that in mind, Snorkoffers the following techniques your family can use to feel more like yourselves, despite the unusual routine.
Find the Fun
Perhaps the hardest part of self-isolation is the boredom of it all. There are only so many drawers to reorganize or rooms to declutter before you start getting sick of being home all day. For kids, this boredom is even more intense. It’s no wonder everyone in the house starts to get a little stir-crazy after a while!
An easy way to bust up boredom is to find safe, socially distant ways to have fun together. For example, on days with nice weather, enjoy a hike or stroll around the neighborhood. Rainy days can be the perfect opportunity for a board game and a little friendly competition. Whatever way you manage it, having some fun together will help you all feel a little less cooped up.
Get Alone Time
As counter-intuitive as it seems, a major issue with self-isolation for families is a lack of alone time. Now that everyone’s home all the time, moments alone are fewer and farther between.
Combat this by setting a specific time each week where everyone gets some alone time. You can have this be a quiet hour or two where everyone retreats to their own space for a while. Read, workout, catch a podcast, whatever—just enjoy some solo activities regularly.
You can also scatter everyone’s time among the week, if there’s no single one hour that works for everybody. Don’t underestimate your family’s need to get some time to themselves; working it into the schedule guarantees they’ll get that down time.
It’s easy, when you’re stuck at home, to get entrenched on the couch. However tempting inactivity may be, however, it’s one of the absolute worst things your family can do right now. As The Georgia Strait explains, exercise is a vital part of physical and mental well-being. If your family isn’t getting enough movement, they won’t have any way to let go of excess stress and energy. This means worse moods and more tension.
Fight this by making sure everyone gets enough exercise every day. Online dance videos are a great way to get kids moving indoors. There are all kinds of fitness videos out there the whole family can enjoy together, with different difficulty levels to suit different ages and abilities.
Be Honest, But Kind
Staying home together is hard. There’s no point in denying it. Although your family members love one another, you’ve all been plucked out of your usual routine and dropped into a world full of fear and uncertainty. The APA recommends giving yourself permission and space to feel those feelings and discuss them kindly with one another. Encourage your loved ones to avoid blame or accusations and to simply sit together in the truth that, right now, you’re all dealing with a difficult time in your lives.
Address Lingering Negativity
If you’ve been able to consistently work through your tension but still feel there’s more to be done, consider enlisting everyone in the family to clean up and clear out every room in the house. Scrub from top to bottom, open windows and blinds, light fragrant mood-lifting candles and put the clutter away. By taking the time to reinvigorate your atmosphere, you can cast off negativity and make your home a more positive and comfortable place as we head into the winter months.
Finally, take some time to come together and remember why this is all worth it. Self-isolating is hard, but you’re helping your community and the world get through the pandemic. Reevaluating the reasons behind your time indoors will help your family feel more at ease with this decision and better handle the challenges that come along with it.
If you’re looking for more ways to smile and stay happy, be sure to connect with Snork!
Photo Credit: Unsplash