Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How to Survive Being Quarantined with Your Parents

Hey y'all! Happy Tuesday!

I hope everyone is doing well as we work on getting through this situation together. With so much being out of anyone's control, life can get overwhelming very fast, and it's important to remember to take care of yourselves.

Personally, I had planned on spending my spring break visiting my parents in Ohio for a week and then flying back to Atlanta to finish my last semester of law school. During that week, the COVID-19 outbreak got worse, my school extended spring break a week, and all classes got moved online. Since my medical insurance is more widely-accepted in Ohio, and it's likely safer not to fly back just yet, I decided to stay at home until further notice. Since then, I've had to deal with what would have been my last Barrister's Ball getting canceled, graduation getting canceled, and surviving with about half a week's worth of clothes and other necessities until my fiancé could send me a box of my things from our apartment. It's been a lot to handle, and I know I'm not alone in struggling to deal with it all.

I want to talk about my coping strategies for surviving being quarantined. My dad works in IT (now from home) and has pretty much commandeered the kitchen table for his work space, my mom just got the green light to work from home and will be using our very old and very low-functioning family laptop since her company isn't providing laptops to their employees, my little brother works night shifts, and our dog likes to (loudly) wake up with everyone in the house and bark at anyone walking outside. My classes are picking back up this week, and I'm sure it will be a hectic transition. Here are some ways that I'm planning to survive:


Respect Each Other's Workspace and Work Time
When I was in high school and did my homework in my bedroom, my mom would pop in and out all the time- dropping off a stack of laundry, offering a snack, or just to chat for a bit. Now that I've moved out and have been in law school for the last two and a half years, I'm used to being able to sit quietly and get my work done without distractions. My classes are also now online, which means my professors and classmates can see and hear what goes on on my end. I talked with my parents and explained that from 8:30 AM to about 6 PM I'm "working" in a similar sense as they are, that I need quiet in order to focus, and that I need to be undisturbed since I'm in a live lecture or working on papers that make up my entire semester grade. In between classes, I will leave my room to say hi if anyone is in the kitchen or to grab something to eat, but my room is off-limits during business hours. This gives me my own space and the peace and quiet I need to be productive. I also extend the same courtesy to my parents' chosen work spaces.

Stagger Your Routines
I love working out in the mornings. So does my little brother. My dad makes lunch around noon. This is the same time my class lets out and I want to get into the kitchen to make myself something. Adjusting to everyone's routines can be difficult. Figuring out a way to work your schedule around everyone else's as we all transition to this new way of working can make the day go by much smoother. For me, doing my cardio workouts on days my brother does weights helped make working out easier, and prepping my lunch the night before helps to cut down on traffic in the kitchen.

Make Time for You Time
We all need a little "me time" when we can get it, and it's even more valuable when there is so much anxiety and worry on a day-to-day basis now. While I definitely miss the warmer weather in Atlanta, not having a crazy morning commute or having to get all dolled up for my internship or classes has allowed me more time to do some things I haven't gotten to do in a while: I read a book I've had my eye on, I started crocheting again, and I'm getting back into doing yoga on my days off from working out. It's also easier to make time to working out, which I cannot recommend enough! As Elle Woods famously said, "exercise give your endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people just don't shoot their husbands." I'm so grateful that my parents have a home gym so I can pour all my stress into an elliptical session or a long run on the treadmill. However, you don't need fancy equipment to get your heart rate up! There are tons of free workout videos you can follow on YouTube, and even just a walk (while maintaining proper distance to others) can help you refocus your day.

Get Fresh Air
Similar to the last point, make sure you're getting outside if you can. This past weekend, I admittedly was moping more than usual due to my graduation ceremony being canceled, and my back ended up hurting from all the sitting and lack of movement. I took my dog for a long walk, and I felt so much better. Fresh air can improve your mood, and even a short walk can help if you're sitting all day. Take your time when you can and just appreciate nature and the change of scenery (bonus points if you also get to enjoy some sunshine). Again, be careful when you do go out, and don't put yourself or others at risk.

Reach Out to People You're Not Quarantined With
Let's face it, we all get annoyed with the people we're around from time to time. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to people who you haven't talked to in a while (or haven't been cooped up inside with for weeks). I talk to my fiancé two or three times a day over the phone or FaceTime, and I text my friends from law school as well since I no longer get to see them at school. This keeps me connected to the spheres I'm away from and always brightens my day. While we may not be able to hang out, we can at least keep in touch.

Spend Quality Time Together
Finally, don't forget to spend some quality time with the people you're with. I know my mom has been loving having me home since I'm so far away most of the time. I try not to get too wrapped up in worrying about my classes, finding a job, staying in contact with everyone in Atlanta, making sure I'm making more healthy choices than unhealthy ones, and everything in the news. Working on being present in the moment has allowed me to appreciate the activity I'm doing rather than cloud it with a fog of worry about the next thing. I've definitely watched a ton of movies with my family in the last few weeks, but we've also baked a few things, had family dinners together, and played a few board games. I also usually grab a family member to walk the dog around the park with me so we can chat along the way. Spending quality time with everyone has led to all of us existing under one roof much more harmoniously.

What has helped you survive quarantine? Leave a comment and let me know!

Make today the best page yet!
Paige

4 comments:

  1. Engaging in blog writing and reading is helping me through this period!
    Loved your points though!
    Take care :)

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    1. Blogging has definitely been helpful to me too! It's great to have some time on my hands to dedicate to writing!

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  2. Excellent advice. It can certainly be hard to be "trapped" in the home with others, even if they are family. I like the idea of staggering your routines, that way you aren't always around each other. Fresh air is so important, I've been getting outside whenever I can, even if it's just standing on the deck for a few minutes.

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    1. Getting outside definitely helps! Having a change of scenery is a great way to feel like you're not trapped inside all the time!

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