If we are finding that there is extra tension at home because everyone is together a lot more often than before, how about calling a family meeting to address what each person may need at this time. Our little ones may ask for more game time with Mom and Dad or with siblings. School-aged children may ask for more privacy doing their school work or more social time with friends....safely, like a Zoom friend's get together. Grownups may need to have some alone time away from family, like an hour to read or tackle a hobby just to refocus. We all need something during this time to allow us to focus on something other than Covid-19. We could put some outdoor family time into the schedule to allow everyone to unwind and get out some energy. To start the meeting and keep some order, I suggest you choose a family object for the person who is speaking to hold. The person speaking can ask for what they need, with Mom and Dad of course making final decisions on what is appropriate for the family and what is not. When they are done, they hand the object to the next person. I have seen kids as young as 3 or 4 ask for something at the meeting. It gives them a taste of learning what it feels like to be heard. We can't learn that lesson early on enough in life.
For those who used to leave the home to work but are now working from home, their needs have changed. How can we accommodate? There is no longer a transition time for those individuals to change their focus from work (where they may have to be a boss) to being at home (where they get to be a partner in managing the home). This can be hard for some people. That transition time is key. As strange as it may sound, here are a few ways to adjust. One, have clothes you wear for work and clothes you change in to when you are done with work for the day; two, actually get in the car and drive around the block when you are done for the day and come home with that "home" attitude; and three, be sure you have a specific space for work at home if you can. A designated office or "area" is very helpful. Only go to that space for work. When it's 5pm, leave that space, close the laptop and don't go back until your regular work time the next day. We are so tempted to "just check email" which can turn into 2 hours that you could have spent with your family.
If you are going through this and you live alone, please be sure that you maintain social gatherings with family, friends and co-workers, safely of course. I love hearing about all these virtual happy hours that companies are doing on Fridays. If you live in a home, I am also hearing about neighborhoods having happy hours by each sitting on their lawns or curbs and socializing from a distance. Such creativity!! Those who do not maintain some type of social exchanges can very easily slip into depression. We don't want that to happen.
For those of us who are close to someone who is hurting or has passed away from this virus, comfort is essential. Please do not be afraid to ask for help. It takes courage to reach out and ask for assistance. Use the inner courage to let someone know you are suffering. There are many, many virtual options available these days. Doctors are doing virtual appointments; counselors are doing teletherapy; Zoom groups for anything you were involved with before are popping up every day. Please do not suffer in silence.
There is so much more to discuss during this time, but I hope this information gives you just a little more strength til we get to the end of this. Be positive. Stay focused. Look out for others. As I have heard several times this month, "We are in this together...but just not together." Be well.