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Dealing With Family Tensions When You're Stuck at Home With Your Parents

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There is no denying it. COVID-19 — the new viral strain in the coronavirus family that affects the lungs and respiratory system — has caused a disruption in how we are used to living. Schools are out, most places of business are closed and people are working from home.

This means if you live with your family and everyone is at home, tensions can get high. For me, my chronic illness has put me and my husband in a place where we’ve needed extra support from my parents. When we got married, we decided to move in with them until my health was stable and we were able to afford a place on our own.

I know I’m not the only one who is in this situation. Many people with disabilities and chronic illness need to stay at home for the extra support and caregiving. So what happens when you’re home and no one has an outlet? It can be hard enough to share a house with family without the added stress of COVID-19 and quarantine. Here are several tips to guide you if you’re an adult home with your parents during this pandemic.

1. Figure out expectations early.

Does your family have certain expectations from you while you’re home? Do they want your help with certain projects? Asking about these expectations sooner than later is key. Once these expectations are clear, try to make reminders and lists so tasks are not forgotten.

2. Talk things through.

When you don’t express yourself, emotions get bottled up and then can come out in not-so-great ways. Talk things through with your family if you notice tensions have risen. The perfect time to talk is after you’re calm… and before the suppressed feelings have turned into resentment.

3. Lighten the mood.

Tensions can get high when people are cooped up for too long. Find a way to lighten the mood. Make jokes, share memes or watch funny videos with your family members so you can find as much humor in your shared situation as you can.

4. Find your own space.

Everyone needs their own space. Try to find your own space within the house where you are able to do your own thing. This means a place in your bedroom, living room or maybe even your car. Wearing headphones or informing your family when you are going to have your own time can be a great way to find your own space within the house.

5. Distraction.

Find some great distractions for you and your family. Play a game together, watch a movie or TV series. Find ways to remind your family that you are in this together.

Do you live with your parents? How do you deal with tensions in the household?

Concerned about coronavirus? Stay informed with these articles:

Getty image via UnitoneVector

Originally published: April 13, 2020
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