When we were first informed that we must shelter in place, the idea of being forced to stay home may have seemed like a mini-vacation. No more rushing to get ready for the days ahead – just lots of family time in a slower-paced environment. It always sounds like such a great idea in the beginning, doesn’t it? Well, sure, it starts off that way, but then something begins to change.
What happens when we are stuck with our loved ones – night and day – for an extended period of time? You guessed it – we begin to quarrel, argue, and maybe even downright fight. It’s not because we don’t love each other because we truly do, right? Instead, there are all of these other unknown factors that are at play in our lives – things we have never experienced before in this capacity.
Take a moment to think about something – When did you last spend non-stop time with your family? How long was that? Were you out and about on vacation? Or were you together in a particular area for the duration of this time?
See, this situation we are currently dealing with is one that we don’t typically find ourselves in. The kids go to school or to daycare. You and/or your spouse works. There are errands to run, appointments, girls/guys night out, and playdates for the kiddos.
When we have to shelter in place, none of this can take place any more. Life is completely 100% thrown off-course. And, for us humans who tend to strongly be creatures of habit, that is not a good thing. You’ll be left with increased stress, frustrations, worries, and so forth. Throw all of these aspects together and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.
And, that’s why we wanted to talk to you about keeping the family peace as you shelter-in-place.
Spend time apart. Sure, you are not able to leave home except for very essential reasons. That doesn’t mean you have to be connected at the hip to each member of your family. There is a good chance that you have rooms in your home that you can escape to for a few minutes (at least) when you start to feel frustrated – or just when you feel like you need a break. Step away and gather your focus and your feelings – get yourself in check. Don’t have extra space to spread out? Then pop in those earbuds. Put on some music, nature sounds, or even some white noise, then close your eyes. You will feel like you are distanced from everyone.
Be understanding. You are not the only one struggling. If you are getting hasty, know that your family members are, too. Agree to disagree. Let your feelings and frustrations go – and practice the art of forgiving. If someone upsets you or hurts your feelings, be understanding that they are going through the same things you are. Let it go.
Give up the control. For so many of us, having control over our schedules and our lives is what keeps us moving forward successfully. But, when life as we know it gets pulled out from under us, we are left scrambling and completely discombobulated. Trying to regain control is going to make you incredibly unpleasing to be around. So, let go of control and find comfort in the present moment.
Sometimes we need to stop and think of everything from a different perspective. Everything about this COVID-19 is scary, unwanted, and stressful. Though, there is nothing we can do about it. Instead of letting ourselves disrupt our copasetic home, view your shelter-in-place situation as an opportunity to strengthen the bond with your family.
That is how you find peace.