With economic strain and health concerns weighing heavily upon us, many renters have gone from savoring their own space and freedom to sharing a roof with their family members. Whether you have moved to take care of your loved ones or to relieve a financial burden, it can be difficult to adjust to a shared living space after spending so much time living independently. We recognize that getting along with family is hardly easy, so we’ve compiled this list of five things to keep in mind when moving back in with loved ones. Although this post is structured around family, these tips are still applicable to those staying with friends or housemates.
1. Draw Boundaries
When quarantining with your family, you may find that many things are out of your control. You may not always see eye to eye, and that can put a serious strain on your relationship. Drawing boundaries is an excellent way to maintain your mental and emotional well-being while minimizing conflict between you and your family. Take the time to evaluate your personal needs and the things that bring you discomfort, once you’ve identified those things consider having a conversation with your family and speaking candidly about your needs. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that those you are staying with will be receptive and adhere to your requests, but you deserve to feel respected and valued in your home. Give it a try, you may be surprised by the outcome.
2. Curate Your Own Space
One way to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed is to make yourself at home. You may feel uncomfortable or out of place moving back in with your family temporarily, but crafting your own space can help bring you peace of mind. You may want to try decorating your room with photos of fond memories or purchasing plants to breathe new life into your home. Whatever you do, make sure your space brings you joy. That way, if you are experiencing stress or anxiety from your family, you can retreat to your room and recuperate mentally and emotionally. If you’re looking for advice on how to make your house a home, check out this blog post here.
3. Invest In Your Favorite Pastimes
It can be hard to remain sane when you’re sleeping in the same bed you did in high school, or better yet sleeping on the couch. All the more reason to invest time in things you enjoy. Many people have taken to crocheting or baking bread during quarantine, but if none of those things strike your fancy there are other options. Creative projects are a great form of stress relief, you might even consider taking up meditation or reading a new book series. There are countless activities you can take up to bring joy into your life, you just have to find what works best for you.
4. Find Common Ground
Trying to maintain a healthy relationship with your family but can’t seem to get along? A helpful way to spend time together while minimizing conflict is to plan quality time where you take part in an activity you all enjoy. You might consider going on walks, playing cards or working on a puzzle together. If those things don’t peak your interest, try the pastime that never seems to fail, television. There are thousands of shows available on TV and on popular streaming platforms, there are even shows available on YouTube and Facebook. Find a series that both you and your family can enjoy, ideally one that avoids topics of conflict, and start watching together.
5. Do Be Afraid to Practice Self-Preservation
There will be times when you find yourself exhausted. It can be extremely trying to have difficult conversations with your family or speak up about your values, especially when they aren’t shared. Overtime, you may find yourself feeling frustrated or defeated. That is okay. Allow yourself to process and experience those emotions, even if it means you need to take a step back. Few things are worth compromising your mental health and emotional well-being, so don’t be afraid to take time for yourself. Whether that means removing yourself from a heated conversation or taking the time to keep a mood journal, you should not feel guilty for acting with self-preservation.
Although these tips and practices can be very helpful, if you don’t notice any improvements you may want to consider seeking other resources.
Should you find yourself in an unsafe environment at home, try the National Domestic Violence Hotline, or call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.