How can we deal with home confinement to get along better?
Here in Sotogrande and around the world we’re being told to #stayathome as much as possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and not put unnecessary stress on the health system. However, staying at home with your family in a confined space is tough and a very intensive experience for everyone involved. We know our members are struggling with this, so we’ve asked for advice from Sotogrande psychologist Maria Sancho.
La Reserva Club – “Hi Maria, many of our members are struggling with this time in quarantine. Please can you share some advice on how we can deal with home confinement to get along better with our loved ones?”
Maria – “It is important to plan for the new situation. We are in a time of great uncertainty, and therefore, we must create an environment that produces security and stability within the house. Here are some ways you can do this:
– Properly organize what we are going to do, when we are going to do it and how we are going to do it: Think in advance about activities we can do alone and in company.
– Maintain a routine: Get up and go to sleep at about the same time, eat a healthy meal at the usual time, and keep moving.
– Exercising at home is a very good option, since it not only keeps us active and helps us release energy, but also causes the brain to release certain substances that will affect our mood in a very positive way, and will reduce our anxiety. It is also an excellent activity to do with children.
– Maintain hygiene habits: Showering daily, and changing clothes is essential for our brain to get the message that our routine has not changed too much and that we continue to function as close to the way we did before as possible.
– Establish leisure and free time schedules: This situation also has a positive side and is that it will allow us to slow down the frenetic pace of life we usually lead and gives us the opportunity to incorporate all those activities that we had no time to do before. So make the most of that and make a plan to maximise these opportunities.
– One of the great losses that this virus has caused is that of social contact, so it is important to continue to maintain our social interaction as much as possible through calls and video calls.
– In these moments, self-care is especially important, and therefore, it is an excellent idea that we take part of our day and week to do activities oriented to our care and pleasure: Meditate, write, take a relaxing bath, get dressed, have facial and body treatments, draw, etc.
– Finally, a sense of humour is a really useful tool to use to face situations of fear and stress. Reading jokes that circulate on the Internet, watching comedy films or stand-up comedy can help us to disconnect for a while from that sense of alertness and benefit from smiling and laughing.”
La Reserva Club – “Great tips Maria, thank you. Could you tell us if it is normal for family conflicts to occur? Also, do you have any advice on how to make it easier to live together at this time?”
Maria – “One of the most important changes that has taken place in our way of life as a result of this situation is that we are living together with our partners and families in the same house for 24 hours a day, without having the possibility of going out. This confinement, added to the emotions and worries that we may be feeling, can cause a certain irritability and increase tensions and conflicts between us.
For this reason, it is important that everyone has their own space or time in the house, so that everyone can enjoy doing activities alone, as well as together. It is possible to establish amongst the family a kind of calendar with schedules to agree on these times and tasks.
If there is a situation of increasing tension, it is important that we identify when we are starting to feel irritated or angry and at that moment, agree to take “a time out”. This consists of each of you separating into different rooms or environments, taking some time to calm down or do some activity that relaxes you, and later joining together again to clarify what has happened.
At these times, communication between us is crucial, so that we can talk freely about how we are feeling, what we need, what is causing us discomfort, without fear of expressing ourselves, in a constructive way that helps the family and the couple to improve.
In addition, this situation can be a good opportunity to get to know more about the people who surround you, how they feel, what their desires are, what they need, what they like. Take the time to listen to them, to share new activities and thus strengthen the bond between you for the long-term.”
We hope you found this advice useful. If you want to seek advice from Maria and her team, you can contact her via her website www.mscentropsicologia.com or comment on this post with more questions you’d like answers to.
Stay safe, #stayathome and be kind to each other. Enjoy our online leisure and sports activities here on our blog and our social media channels Facebook and Instagram. We have also put together an article on how to keep the kids entertained and active at home which we hope you’ll find useful.