Before the coronavirus pandemic, none of us were prepared to hunker down at home, for months, with all of our closest family members. Without the usual escape of work, school, or social activities, we’re all stuck putting up with each other’s quirks and annoyances—day in and day out. It’s only a matter of time before seemingly small issues explode into full-fledged family fights.
How can you avoid conflict and ensure everyone gets along while you weather the pandemic together? Here are some ways you can stay calm, centered, and frustration-free while you’re stuck at home.
Banish Bad Energy from Your Home
Does your home feel like a relaxing, rejuvenating place to spend your time? If not, you may be dealing with some bad energy. Some of the things that can contribute to negative energy in your home are excessive complaining from family members, negativity, criticism, and clutter.
Fortunately, it’s easy to banish bad energy from your home by clearing out the clutter, giving your home a good top-to-bottom cleaning, and opening all of your windows to refresh your space with outdoor air.
Make Sure Everyone Gets Enough Sleep
Sleeplessness makes everyone feel a little cranky. This is especially true for children! To ensure your children are getting the restful sleep they need, some self-introspective inquiries may be in order. Does your child have a bedtime ritual to help them wind down? Could they have a sleep disorder? How much sleep do they need each night?
If you or other members of your household are having trouble sleeping due to pandemic-related stress or changes to your routine, it’s time to make some habit changes. Put an end to late nights, limit screen use before bed, and ensure everyone gets up at the same time every day.
Find Fun Ways to Spend Time Together
Boredom is another common cause of household tension, so find ways to keep everyone entertained while you’re stuck at home. Playing video games is one great way to have fun and bond with your kids. In fact, certain video games can even have developmental and educational benefits for children! Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your internet can handle the extra bandwidth before you invest in a new gaming system—especially if you’re working from home and using the internet for demanding tasks like conference calls.
Be More Mindful
When you’re under a lot of stress, it’s easy to say or do things without thinking. But emotion-fueled remarks and passive-aggressive behaviors will only worsen household tensions. Try to remain mindful of how you’re feeling throughout the day. If you’re feeling irritated, ask yourself why. Have you eaten recently? Did you get enough sleep last night? Are you experiencing a lot of work stress right now? Acknowledging the source of your frustrations will help you avoid projecting your feelings onto others.
When conflict arises at home, take a pause and consider how you can respond more mindfully. Focus on your breath, notice what you’re feeling, and take a moment to relax your muscles. Remember that you have complete control over how you respond to conflict. If you just can’t calm down, call a timeout and give everyone a chance to reflect on their thoughts before trying to come up with a solution to whatever problems are causing conflict at the moment. Most importantly, try not to hold onto resentment. When it comes to getting along with family members, sometimes we just have to agree to disagree—and that’s okay!
The pandemic is forcing all of us to spend a lot more time at home than we’re used to. While this can be a great chance to make memories and forge stronger bonds with your loved ones, it can be hard to stay civil when tensions flare. Take steps to keep everyone rested, entertained, and feeling as positive, and you should be able to get through this difficult time with minimal family feuds.