- Limit long periods of social interactions, whether with family or housemates, before the conversation becomes tedious. At the first sign of vibes going downhill–with criticisms, grievances or accusations–simply say, “Let’s take a break,” and leave the room. Know when to say to yourself, ‘no more of this.’ Like turning the TV to a different a channel, but this is reality TV.
- Self-designate work spaces and/or set up a schedule for computer time. Let everyone choose their own workspace or set up a flexible schedule where they can trade workspace time.
- Combatting the psychological heaviness. In these gloomy uncertain times we’re all down-hearted. The ongoing combination of having a sense of foreboding mixed with terror and boredom is difficult to endure. Making it worse is the lack of physical comfort we derive from person-to-person contact.
- Surprisingly, some anxiety can be productive. It motivates us to wash our hands more often and to distance ourselves from others physically–anxiety gives us an important reason to do so.
- Even though watching the news can exacerbate anxiety, it’s important to get the facts straight. For instance, outbreaks of influenza tend to wan in warmer weather. Wrong, the coronavirus might not ease so easily. Look at Singapore (located in the tropics) and Australia (where it is still summer), which is why summer plans need to stay fluid to avoid further disappointment. Along with sticking to physical-distancing to avoid person-to-person transmission, which is the only way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
- Draw straws as to who chooses what you’re watching on the family TV, then if others don’t want to watch they can go off and read or stream from their laptops.
Create a rotating chore list:
- Wastebasket and garbage patrol and disinfecting the containers.
- Emptying the dishwasher, putting away the dishes and refilling it, and disinfecting the kitchen sink and counter.
- Washing pots and pans, and cleaning table tops, stove, and counters.
- Emptying and loading washer and dryer and folding laundry (if family members are not responsible for washing their own sheets, towels, washcloths, laundry bag and clothing).
- Watering house plants.
- Walking the dog.
- Disinfecting bathrooms.
- Vacuuming and mopping floors.
- Disinfecting hard surfaces. Including doorknobs, remote controls, phones, fridge handles, faucets and toilet handles, and cabinet pulls.
Beware, a few words of caution about using
99.99% disinfectant with clorox:
droplets on your clothing while cleaning
with spray will permanently
bleach out into little white spots.
- Switch it up with chores by rotating the chores, including showing sons and fathers how to use a vacuum cleaner, mop the kitchen floor, and clean a bathroom.
- Help maintain other people’s privacy. Let them carve out a space of their own.
- Know when you’re being annoying and self-correct.
- Don’t press other people’s buttons, and who knows how to do that better than siblings?
Respect other people’s private space:
- Knock on closed doors before entering.
- While walking into a room when the door is open, clear your throat or hum–before entering–to signal that you’re on your way in, so as not to startle someone deep in concentration.
- Be considerate of others by thinking about how other people might be feeling. For instance don’t leave dirty tissues laying around and clean up after yourself in the bathroom, as well as at the table or after lying on the couch; when you’ll want to fluff up the pillows, refold the blanket and put your empty glass in the dishwasher or sink.
- Nip it in the bud. Any issues that come up should be resolved or diluted by communicating them to everybody as soon as they surface. Otherwise bottled up frustrations, resentments, and grievances will dwell and exacerbate.
- Show real empathy. Understand that we all deal with stress in our own way and in our own time, so don’t let minor quirkiness, idiocrasy, eccentricity and gripes get on your nerves and bring you down.
- Learn to talk to each other again. Strive for drama-free family dinners; learning to live together–perhaps all over again. It’s an opportune time for family members to talk about their aspirations; what they would like to do with their lives after they get out of hibernation.
- Be social. After dinner, play boardgames, chess, backgammon, pingpong, poker or cards. Make popcorn and watch movie classics on TMC.
- Check your own emotions. Fear can be contagious. Monitor and manage your own sense of worry.
- Be a listener. Disappointment and sadness over missing an anticipated event and even fear of the unknown can cause worry and anxiety. Validate emotions whether the emotion is disappointment, fear of the unknown, or something in between.
- What can we learn from this? Encourage freedom to express frustration. There is definitely something therapeutic about having a person who is willing to listen to you and hear you out.
- Encourage consistency. Keep meals on time. Get bathed and dressed as usual. Keep to a schedule.
- Lastly, despite rain, wind, and fog, take a walk once a day–even for twenty minutes.
- Give the gift of listening today.
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Accepting A Compliment