Locked up together: what to do

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We’ve already figured out the reasons for difficult anxieties about joint quarantine with relatives, studied safety procedures and communication rules; and now, let’s see how you can use this time to your advantage.

Simply put, what to do when locked up together.

First of all, any joint activities can bring people together;

  • board games: get out the good old Monopoly, dominos, Imaginarium, Dixit, have a checkers tournament;
  • group games: crocodile, Mafia; make use of the gaming cell phone apps;
  • do puzzles and other fine motor skills hobbies together;
  • draw, color together;
  • make a collage together  from pictures cut out from old magazines (there’s probably a pile of them on the balcony somewhere);
  • cook together a dessert from the recipe book/a magazine/ the Internet (if there are no “kitchen” wars with mother, grandmother or mother-in-law);
  • organize tea ceremonies in the evenings: get out your favorite jelly and that dessert with some nice tea. And make sure to use that new china you’ve been putting away for a “special occasion”;
  • do some crosswords, Scandinavian crosswords, brainteasers; you can turn them into a competition;
  • a general cleaning is much more effective with 6-8 hands involved; divide the zones between each other and off we go;
  • throw in some physical activity for your body: you can do a simple 15-minute aerobics with your mom or daughter;
  • introduce a new tradition – for example, reading stories out loud in the evening, taking turns (choose something everyone would enjoy – “Karlsson-on-the-Roof”, “Moomins”, “Harry Potter”, “The Chronicles of Narnia, etc.);
  • watch movies and TV shows together: announce the week of good old movies (“Pretty Woman” forever!) or comedies, take your time choosing them.

If someone from the older generation is sad, try to gently suggest what they can do. It all depends on who they are: maybe mom can do great embroidery, but gave it up, or dad used to draw really well, but somehow there’s never any time; maybe your grandmother knits, and you’ve always wanted to learn – now is the time;

Take note of the deterioration of the loved ones’ psychological state, and together, try to look for the pros so that they become an additional internal resource and relieve stress.

Don’t forget about personal space – give others a break from you and take breaks from them yourself. Then the group activities will be fun rather than a chore.

If you overcome the challenges together, that can bring the family closer and ensure mutual support. After all, the quarantine will end, but the relationships will stay.

However, all of that is perfect for those who, in general, have a good relationship with their loved ones. Not everyone’s so lucky. If you are in quarantine with those with whom things are complicated during the best of times, people who are complex and frankly, toxic, then you should focus more on protecting yourself and your emotional state than on getting close. How to help yourself if this is your situation:

  • It’s important to clearly distinguish between “general” and “private” zones, where no one would bother you: carefully consider options for removing yourself from the situation – from physical ones (to lock yourself in a separate room if necessary), to mental ones (headphones, movies, books, music);
  • don’t get involved in disputes, don’t pour fuel into the fire – that’s exactly what toxic people want to “escalate” the situation;
  • think of some excuses in case the conversation reaches a stalemate and you need to stop the contact:
  • if the conversation has unsettled you, find a way to recharge – breathe using relaxing techniques, take a bubble bath, do some exercises – whatever can work for you.

Remember that your primary task for this time is to take care of yourself and leave this situation without any losses.