I see so many posts about bettering yourself, staying healthy and connecting during self-isolation and social distancing. All great posts with great ideas but what about a post that helps us live and love those we are self-isolating with?

Even in the best of situations being home with loved ones all the time would be a challenge. Now added to that stress could be homeschooling kids, working from home, financial concerns and let’s not even talk about planning to go out and get groceries! And why are we heading to the fridge so often? Ok, I won’t go there.

During stressful times, certainly like the one we are living through right now, we forget the basics. We know we love our family but forget why (too much of a good thing?). Aren’t the ones we live with, the ones we take for granted? Get angry with and take our frustrations out on? Know us the best which also means know how to push our buttons? Yes, yes, and umm yes!

While it seems like we are at home being reactive to a situation outside of our control, we can be proactive in making family life at home a little more enjoyable. Being proactive requires us to take control, to make changes and to take action.

Are you up for the challenge? If so, here are 5 tips to help make your self-isolation family life a little better:

  • Make space for everyone in the home. Even if you don’t have room for everyone to have their own space, schedule time in certain rooms for each of you. Make sure that everyone has somewhere they feel comfortable, safe and can be alone.
  • Plan downtime or quiet time in the home. Set aside an hour everyday where everyone agrees to do a quiet activity, maybe read, listen to an audio book or tv show with headphones on.
  • Enjoy some family time. Play a board game/cards, play outside, do crafts, a puzzle or go for a walk together. Just enjoy being together without the stress of having to be together.
  • Be aware of, accept ad appreciate each other’s differences. Yes, you may want to watch really bad tv while someone else gardens or cooks. That’s ok. Let them do there thing or ask to join them, it may help you appreciate what it is they like about it. At a minimum it will show you care.
  • Communicate regularly and respectfully. Talk about what you liked about the day, about what’s bothering you, about what you need or just about nothing. During #3 and #4 is an excellent time to chat btw.

It’s not all sunshine, rainbows, and butterflies I get it BUT what is the alternative? Stop for 1 minute, just 1 minute and think about the people you are missing – what if you were also missing the people you live with?

We hopefully will never have to live through something like this again in our lifetime. Don’t look back with regret that you didn’t stop to enjoy the people around you…yes even if they are the same people leaving dirty dishes everywhere and not appreciating your new recipes or Netflix choices. You still love them; you know you do.

FAMILY – can’t live with them, can’t live without them.