If you’ve been isolated with your family for the past few months, chances are, you’ve had to weather some storms. All households experience tension from time to time, and it’s likely that self-isolating during COVID-19 is fueling some of those conflicts. Not enough alone time, too few distractions, and feeling uncertain about the future are all reasons your family might be dealing with more negativity than usual.
While you may not realize it, everyone benefits from having some alone time. There are incredible side-effects from giving yourself more time alone, including fostering greater empathy for others, increasing productivity, and fostering creativity.
If you find that you’re struggling with making time for yourself, see if you can carve out at least 30 minutes each day to spend alone. You can spend this time reading, meditating, doing yoga, or going for a walk to clear your head. Even extroverts need a bit of alone time, so see what you can do to work “me-time” into your day.
Children also need alone time, so help your kids find ways to take time out for themselves. Find age-appropriate activities for them to do on their own, whether it’s coloring, reading, or even playing video games. If your kids seem cranky or worn out by the end of the day, that’s a sign that you may need to incorporate more quiet time into their day.
One common reason for the tension is a lack of exercise. With many gyms around the country still closed or operating with significant precautions, it can be hard to get the same workouts as you did pre-pandemic. However, it’s important to incorporate exercise into each day, even if it’s just for 20 or 30 minutes.
If you’re struggling with getting started, begin with a few tips: try to exercise at the same time every day so it becomes routine, and even set yourself a reminder half an hour before so you can stop what you’re doing to make time for it. Start small with short, low-impact workouts, and gradually build over time.
If possible, try to get the whole family involved for workouts. While it may be difficult to find an activity that’s appropriate for each family member, easy options include hiking in a nearby park, walking or jogging with your dog, or even a game of frisbee in the backyard. If you can, get outdoors for your workouts: fresh air will help everyone clear their heads and feel better quickly.
While it’s a great idea to get plenty of exercise and alone time, it’s also important to consider how your environment may be playing a role in your family’s tension. Cluttered and messy homes often create more tension and negativity than clean, uncluttered spaces, so take a few minutes each day to tidy up and open some windows to let in the fresh air.
Along with cleaning your home, consider doing a gut cleanse to help remove toxins in your body. Cleansing your gut will improve your immune system and even boost your mood. To do this, be sure to drink plenty of water, take a daily probiotic, and reduce your intake of red meat, dairy, sugar, and gluten.
Alleviating family tension during self-isolating can feel difficult when you’re in the thick of it, but remember that there are daily steps you can take to lift your family’s moods. Get alone time every day, and be sure to do some form of exercise, preferably outside. Declutter your home and open some windows to let in the fresh air and help dissipate negativity. And, consider cleansing your gut to help improve your mood and immune system.
By: Emma Grace Brown