Locked up together: safety arrangements

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In yesterday’s article, we figured out the bases of the challenges. And today we will devote time to, if not eliminating them, then at least reducing them. Communication safety techniques will help us with that. With its support we:

– will not allow any aggravation of relations;

– will not suppress our feelings at the cost of our own health.

  1. First and foremost.

It’s important to consider the options for organizing personal space for each family member. Everyone should have a spot they’d have an opportunity to retire to and be “alone” at for a certain amount of time. Note the places that haven’t been used before – a balcony (if it’s insulated and you can fit a cozy armchair there), or an alcove in the corridor, where a cozy ottoman and a lamp are asking to be placed for some reading.

  1. Agree with your loved ones on some specific rules to be understood by everyone without further explanations, for example:
  • if someone’s tired of talking and needs some alone time, he makes that clear it and goes to his “corner”, where he’s not disturbed;
  • if there is a “skirmish” and the tensions are heating up, somebody announces a “break”, and this “pauses” a potential conflict for a while; it’s better to get back to it when the emotions subside;
  1. Have a family discussion regarding the upcoming time: share your plans, your desires. Combine what can be combined with the “Wishlists” of other family members: “Oh, I also was gonna to watch this show, let’s watch it together!”, but don’t push it if the desires don’t align.
  2. If the family relations are warm and smooth, try to plan an event together at least once a day – for example, breakfast, lunch or dinner, or maybe organize a game for everyone – monopoly, crocodile or good old lotto.
  3. If the relations leave a lot to be desired, try not to aggravate them during this time. If you do feel that a situation is escalating, don’t aggravate it to an outright conflict – it’s better to leave and do something nice or conducive for burning negative energy (sport, cleaning).
  4. You may not be able to physically walk away whenever you like, but there’s nothing stopping you from “mentally” leaving the situation – for the world of music (put on headphones and you’re gone), an interesting movie (you’ve your Middle Earth and hobbits, or the dangers of Westeros – whatever you prefer), or an awesome book (endless possibilities here as well). That’ll help switch over.
  5. Take care of yourself and each other. Help and support other family members and ask for help for yourself if you need it. A small act of care like a cup of tea, a massage or a bath is a huge support!
  6. If at some point emotions do overwhelm you – anxiety, anger, sadness, for instance – work with them. Use the exercises from the Psycho Sutra section.
  7. Help your senior family members organize leisure activities – ask your grandmother to knit you a pair of new socks that you really need, download an interesting TV show for your mom. This will be useful for everyone, since the easier time they have surviving the quarantine, the easier will it be for you, as the situation will not escalate.
  8.  And remember – quarantine is temporary.