August 5, 2020

{Guest Post} How to Help Your Family Cope When Self-Isolation Makes Tension Rise


How to Help Your Family Cope When Self-Isolation Makes Tension Rise


We all love our families, but living with other humans is hard, even in the best of times. And now that families are self-isolating to prevent the spread of COVID-19, normal household tension has reached a whole new level. Parents and kids, husbands, and wives, we’re all feeling the stress of self-isolation, and it often seems like there’s no end in sight. True, we may not know when life will return to normal, but that doesn’t mean we’re helpless when it comes to household tension.


Try Proactive Solutions


Some of the issues causing tension may be hard to pinpoint, but others are easy to identify when you stop and think about it. In some households, tensions arise because of the pandemic itself - and how the family should respond. Then there’s the stress that comes from multiple people sharing a household (and resources) around the clock.


One example of an easy solution relates to how we’re all leaning on technology a little more these days. Technology is great for connecting with people outside your family, plus it gives us all an outlet for entertainment and escaping our worries. Problems arise, though, when everyone is competing for the same devices. The good news is that these are pretty easy problems to solve. For example, if some members of the family are into video gaming, you can avoid conflict over who gets to use the TV by investing in a monitor that’s just for the gamers in the house. Many families are also on a tight budget these days, which is why you’ll want to spend some time researching the best gaming monitors so you’ll be sure your purchase is a good value.


Another common issue is when everyone is relying on the same internet connection. Many households are straining their connection, especially when someone in the home is into multiplayer games like Fortnite that add to your internet use. For an easy solution to this issue, consider switching your internet service to a brand that offers fiber optic connections for faster downloads and better online play.


Set Boundaries… and Maintain Communication


Quick-fix solutions are ideal for putting an end to many issues, but some disagreements don’t have obvious solutions. The good news is that you can troubleshoot lots of these issues by setting boundaries AND keeping open communication. One example from Insider is how families often have disagreements about the use of common spaces like the kitchen and living room. We all need these spaces for work, fun, and time to relax and unwind.


When everyone is on top of each other all the time, the worst thing you can do is simply go about your business, feeling frustrated with others for not understanding your need for space. If you don’t communicate, it’s no wonder they don’t understand! This is why you have to express your needs for certain spaces — and then set boundaries that work for everyone.


Find Your Ideal Schedule


At this point in the pandemic, your schedule for work, parenting, play, and life in general is not what it used to be. Consider: do you have a schedule that works for you and your family? You’ll need to be able to change habits and routines, which may mean adopting a new work style or new parenting strategies. The key is to be willing to adapt while also maintaining structure in your daily routine.


We all need structure to keep us sane right now, but Toronto.com recommends allowing for variety too, including exercise and time outdoors to get fresh air. These are small things that are easy to do, yet even the smallest habits can make a huge difference for the whole family. Some conflict is inevitable (no matter the circumstances), but we can all do our part to lessen the family drama and make these difficult and confusing times work for everyone.


Thank you to Emma Grace Brown of Emmagracebrown.com
for writing this guest post.

photo credit: Rawpixel


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