In this time of uncertainty, it is easy to get overwhelmed and spending so much time in the home can lead to tensions. A 22 year old has shared some of her concerns about this period of self-isolation, and we share some of the approaches to working through them. At HRF we recognise the value of the home for everyone as a place of refuge and nurture – now more than ever.
- The uncertainty of not knowing how long we will be like this
- Not having a routine
- Forced to be at home and not being able to go out
- Not seeing friends
- The intense coexistence with my siblings
What can I do about it?
First of all, these feelings are very understandable as this is such an unsettling time and although this may not seem helpful, “we are all in the same boat”. There are no easy answers but here are a few thoughts:
1. Trying to get hold of “everything” is exhausting and impossible. It is best to try to focus on the things you do still have control over – how you react to “everything” that is going on.
2. Uncertainty? Well, it is true that we are going to be at home for a long time, but that’s like when you face exams. You cannot think about the last exam until you have put the others behind you. We need to face the imminent exams before worrying about the later ones… That translated to self-isolation means thinking about one day at a time For now, medium / long term planning is not helpful.
3. You have to create your own routine. If you do not already have one, now is the time you both need one and have the opportunity to find one that works for you. A suggested pattern might be: Get up early, wash, dress comfortably, and be ready for the day. A good guide is to do “head work” in the morning and “hand work” in the afternoon. So if you are studying do this before lunch and leave the afternoon for cleaning, baking, gardening and exercising. The evening can then be spent watching TV or catching up with friends and family online. Once you find a regular time-frame for your days, your mood should improve too.
4. Make the most of any outdoor/fresh air experiences you can have. Maybe you have a garden? A terrace or balcony? No matter how small it is, take advantage of it, go out there to take the air, every 2 or 3 hours. There are people going through this without access to the outdoors at all, remembering this can help us make the most of what we do have.
5. Sharing space with loved ones requires us all to be mindful of the needs of those others and how we can make it a better experience. Find moments for yourself, to read, to pray, to listen to music, without doing anything else and then return refreshed to family times. Not having the luxury of choosing how and with whom we spend our time is going to be a steep learning curve for us all.
Keeping cheerful is going to be a big help!