For families who are self-isolating together, it’s natural for tensions to arise after a while. We’ve all had to give up our routines and lifestyle in one way or another, which can be an abrupt and difficult change for many. If you’ve noticed tensions in your home, it could be for a number of reasons, such as lack of sleep, not enough exercise, loss of alone-time, or just plain boredom. Just Me Mental Health suggests that with some patience and by setting new routines for your family, there are ways to alleviate these issues.
One of the biggest contributors to our moods is sleep. When sleep deprived, even small irritations can be blown way out of proportion. This can be difficult when you’re around family constantly—after all, our family members are often the people who know how to push our buttons.
If you suspect your kids are having trouble sleeping, there are a few things to ask yourself. First, do your kids have a good bedtime ritual? Examples of this could be a warm bath, reading in bed, or singing bedtime songs to help them drift off.
Consider what your child takes into bed with them, and whether those items could be making it hard for them to sleep. It’s a good idea to limit the number of toys or stuffed animals you allow your toddler to sleep with. And for older children, consider asking them to leave their phones in the living room overnight so they’re not tempted to text their friends until the wee hours.
Exercise and healthy eating
For many families, getting enough exercise during self-isolation is challenging. However, exercise is an excellent way to relieve tension. Make sure you carve out time for a fitness routine, and incorporate a healthy eating routine to boost your family members’ moods.
One of the best things you can do for exercise and to ease tensions is getting outside for some fresh air. Try to go for a walk at least once a day—either alone or with your family—for light exercise and to clear your mind.
Your fitness routine can be as simple as an online yoga workout, but be sure to prioritize your general well-being along with your new exercise plan. This includes adding rest days to your weekly schedule, and remembering that eating well goes hand-in-hand with working out.
Alone time and self-care
While we may not realize it, lack of alone time and diminished self-care can be major contributors to mood. When we don’t have time alone or take time for ourselves, our minds don’t have time to reboot and recharge. It can be emotionally and mentally draining to be around other people constantly, and can cause us to have heightened reactiveness to small disagreements. And when you feel like all your energy is going to others, you can feel completely depleted. Try to find ways to include alone time for each of your kids and yourself, and help them find ways to alleviate boredom. It’s also important to practice and teach self-care. Whether it’s in the form of a nap, time spent with a good book, a warm bath or enjoying music alone.
A fresh and vibrant home
Pay close attention to the way you feel when you’re at home. If you and your family are complaining too much and blaming or criticizing each other, you’ll want to take steps to create positive energy in your home. You can start by decluttering, tossing out broken items, and deep cleaning. Next, you can light a bundle of sage and diffuse some essential oils for cleansing and relaxation.
Families that isolate together face a number of challenges, but most can be overcome with just a few tweaks to your routine. Consider how much sleep you’re getting, and if it’s contributing to your mood. Ensure that you’re getting exercise like tai chi to relieve tension, try to get some alone time for you and your children, and create positive energy in your home. To help kids stave off boredom, suggest a good book for them to read or help them find a fun video game to play—just be sure to upgrade your internet connection so it runs smoothly.
If you've reached a point where you need support to benefit your mental well-being, or if you just want to talk to others about what you’re going through, reach out to the team at Just Me Mental Health to get yourself back on track.