7 tips to manage a household during social isolation

By Megan Sanderson

5 minutes

04 May 2020

Woman with a young daughter exercising

Does social isolation at home have you spending just a little more time with your partner children, parents, siblings or roommates than what you're used to?

Good relationships require the right balance and communication, and during this period may need just a little extra effort to make sure everyone stays strong, healthy and stable.

We’ve called on councillor Megan Sanders to share her top 7 tips to help manage and avoid household stress during social isolation.

Routine

A healthy routine is the foundation of a happy household and creates a sense of 'normality' while in social isolation. It will also help you all stay productive and motivated.

To stay accountable, try filling out a daily/weekly planner together, colour coding different activities. Exercise, mealtimes, household chores, leisure and family time, are all things that could be included.

Boundaries

Setting boundaries is extremely important for keeping everyone happy when you're in each other's space 24/7, so be sure to communicate what is acceptable and unacceptable. Also, determine how you can work together to maintain and keep your relationships healthy. For example – when on a work conference call, the individual goes to the office, no calls in the living room' or 'no work talk after 7 pm' or 'maintain a clear distinction between work time and family-time.

Keep the space

Have designated areas in the house for specific tasks or activities to ensure you're not in each other's space all the time. When it's time for you to be at work, go to your designated 'work area' in the house and keep that space strictly for work. Do the same with other areas in the home - use the chillout area for relaxation, your workout area for working out, your bedroom for sleeping and so on. Doing this can limit frustration and avoid tension building up within the household.

Random acts of kindness

Be kind with one another. Rather than doing everything as 'one', take turns in doing things for each other. Make a meal, do the washing, bring someone a cup of coffee or surprise with home-delivered restaurant food. Random acts of kindness increase the release of happy hormones, regulating moods and strengthening trust. They also have been shown to maintain the connection in relationships which is just what we might need !

Solo time

Schedule in daily alone time. Give yourself time to be an individual and uphold your individuality. Try doing at least one thing a day on your own, go for a walk, do something creative or maybe a little gardening (make sure you follow the latest social distancing requirements).

Stay present

Spend quality time with those in your household. Do this by being present, limiting distractions (i.e. put your phone away) to enjoy time together truly. Remember, quality time is always favoured over quantity. This could be done when having a meal together, playing board games or going for a walk.

Clear communication

Communication is key! Always be clear, open and honest and try to use 'I' statements. But remember, sometimes "proving" who was right might be the wrong thing to do.

Regularly reflect on how your household relationships are going and make the small tweaks where needed to keep it healthy and fun.

  
If you or someone you know is struggling with social distancing, you’re not alone and there are several places you can turn to for help.

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Disclaimer

This article contains general information only and does not take into account the health, personal situation or needs of any person.   In conjunction with you GP or treating health care professional, please consider whether the information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances.