Surviving Quarantine With Roommates – Advice From The Experts

by Jan 26, 2021Blog0 comments

Surviving Quarantine With Roommates – Advice From The Experts 

COVID-19 has forced many of us to cope with a new normal of being indoors and staying isolated from the outside world. If you are doing so with a roommate or your significant other, you have no doubt experienced frayed nerves and, admittedly, caused angst for those under your roof.  To help yourself and everyone in your home maintain sanity, here are   some tips from experts on coping with isolation and promoting domestic peace in what are hopefully the last months of quarantining. 

Manage How Much You Worry

In a recent article in the international medical journal The Lancet, the six contributing physicians provided the conclusions of their research on the psychological impact of quarantine which – no surprise = are that quarantine isolation results in varying degrees of boredom, frustration, loneliness and anxiety. . The latter is one of the most difficult to deal with. As the article states,“If you’re with someone else and you hear them cough, you start to panic about their health and your own too,” she says. The authors stress the importance of not  letting  fearful thoughts take over and avoiding  stressing out your living partners an excess of COVID talk.  Instead, seek interesting conversation topics that do not include politics and the 600-pound gorilla named COVID. . 

Practice Self-Awareness and Avoid Petty Conflict 

“Perfect harmony is not the goal. It’s really about self-awareness,” says Elaine Yarborough, a conflict-resolution consultant who has been managing interpersonal and business conflicts in 30 countries for the past 40 years. “If people have not cultivated it [self-awareness], or even partially considered it, they could be in trouble.” She urges people to consider what they say before they complain or make a snarky comment to their roommate and emphasizes the importance of understanding the difference between a compulsive thought and a real concern. For example, if you are upset that the dishes aren’t washed, the real concern may be that you feel underappreciated, and  the dishes are a symptom of your angst. Bring that point up instead rather than the petty details. 

Establish an Organized and Structured Schedule

Not everyone is built the same when it comes to isolation. Some people will enjoy the constant company as it helps them feel less alone during this difficult period. Others, however, will need some alone time and will be negatively affected by the constant presence of someone. Experts recommend asking for space when you need it and not settling for what makes you uncomfortable. Even though you’re used to sharing space, you can’t treat quarantine the way you would treat a lazy Sunday. Researchers suggest negotiating how you divide up time and space and how often you and your living companions check in on each other. Additionally, validate each others’ feelings with empathy about the challenges inherent in what you are all going through. , 

Maintain Contact with the Outside World

Through the technology of a variety of communications apps, you have at your fingertips that means to interact with other individuals anywhere in the world. These include friends, fellows in recovery at meetings, and mental health professionals who can help your sanity.

The foregoing is a brief set of suggestions for key to staying emotionally healthy during these extended quarantine periods.  With mindfulness, empathy, compromise and willingness to reach out to others, you and those with whom you live can make it through in peace. 

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