In these unprecedented days of being housebound for our safety and for the safety of others, we are spending more time with our family members than we’ve ever spent before. We have all heard how this is a time to reconnect, to enjoy each other’s company, to treasure one another... but let’s be honest, If you could eat unlimited quantities of your favorite ice cream, the idea would be thrilling at first but it would not take too long before you won’t want to see it for a long time.
Many of us may be starting to feel like that with the people we love the most. As we are getting “too much” connectedness time with our family members we may begin to feel cramped, irritated, easily annoyed, restless, and very grumpy. These feelings may translate into many arguments, meltdowns or worse. We may also feel guilty about beginning to wish to get away from our loved ones. This could be confusing but it is a very normal human reaction.
6 things you can do to not get on each other’s nerves during these housebound times:
My Space: designate spaces in the house that can be “quiet personal zones”for family members to retreat to when needed.
Time out: Communicate your need for personal space. Agree on a signal or a short phrase to communicate your need for some alone time. Young kids can draw a picture (e.g., a kid in a box) that they can hold up when they need space. Parents of young children will have to take turns watching over them.
Halt: Ease off on pressing your kids to be “productive” all the time. They will be ok if for the next little while they relax and be “unproductive” for a big chunk of the day. I promise you, this will not hinder your kids’ chances of getting into university
Let me be: teenagers pull away from family members during normal times and may need their space now more than ever. Don’t fret if they spend lots of time playing video games, watching movies, chatting with their friends or sleeping in.
Volcano buster: recognize early when you are getting irritated, annoyed or angry and retreat to your quiet zone. This will prevent a fight. Do some deep breathing, jumping jacks or whatever you can think of to release that physical tension.
Chill: relax your standards, especially if you are a parent who really likes schedules and control. Life will return to normal and so will our daily routines.
This too shall pass....stay calm, get the space you need because soon life will return to its pre-corona hustle and bustle.