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Published on May 12, 2020

How to get along in quarantine

Here's how to get along when there's too much family togetherness

You've probably heard the old saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," but is there truth to that? Is there such a thing as too much togetherness? 

For many, stay at home orders began as a time to spend some needed quality time together as a family. A time to finally get outside with the kids, catch up on shows with a partner or cook decedent meals with roommates. However, as time moved on, the monotony has most likely set in. Small annoyances are turning into never ending irritations and you are likely ready for alone time. Many emotions running high. Don't worry, you are not alone. There are strategies to help us get through this time together.  

Communicate. Talk about your needs and expectations to stay ahead of potential conflicts. Plan daily talk sessions around the breakfast, lunch or dinner table to discuss your needs, wants and expectations. 

Schedule. Have a daily schedule and post it in a shared area. Having your schedule posted will help alleviate any miscommunications and will allow for structure and routine. If there are younger children in the house, working parents may need to create a schedule alternating childcare, considering each parent's workload.

Accept that we all have different needs. This is a great time to practice acceptance. We all do things differently and it's okay to be different. Use this time to truly try to understand where others are coming from and the reason they move through their day the way they do. Being open and honest can create a more open and respectful home.

Plan for alone time. Alone time is crucial and right now it's even more important than ever. Take a walk, read a book, garden or take a bath. Just 30 minutes a day can help alleviate the stress of being cooped up with others all the time. Just be sure kids don't get too much time alone playing video games or on their phone. Too much isolation is related to loneliness and mental illness.

Take account for your own behavior. When we are unhappy it's easy to put blame on others. All the uncertainty we're living with can push our buttons, and we might be tempted to vent our frustration on others. Get honest with yourself, are your feelings due to the circumstance that we are all in? If you can solve the issue without creating a larger problem, do so. If you're carrying pent up anger, talk to the person in a calm manner so you can work together to come to a conclusion. Aim to see the best in those around you.

Create your fun. What are creative ways that you can have fun with your partner, family or roommates? Make a journal of all the fun things you can do right now. When you look back on that journal you will be reminded of the joy this time together has allowed.

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