Being quarantined inside a house for two or three months, not being able to go outside and be social, is hard to get through. Humans are naturally sociable creatures and being forced to stay indoors is not a simple thing to do. Yet, we have to protect and contain COVID-19. It is a difficult time for everyone in our world, right now. Especially for those who are being quarantined with someone else. Trust me. I am too. To avoid hating the people I am quarantined with, I had to adapt to the situation, and learn a few things. Ways on how to better the situation at home, for both myself and the others I am quarantined with.
1. Give Them Space
Since being quarantined means to be isolated, it would be a good idea to give the person you are quarantined with some space. Odds are, they are just as disturbed and troubled by this whole thing as you are. They may even have developed some form(s) of anxiety or depression because of this. Not being able to leave your house is a hard thing to do, especially for someone adventurous. A social butterfly. I am not saying to leave them completely alone. Check up on them once in a while, but if they are in their room listening to some music or reading a book, then let them be. It is nothing against you. So, do not take it personally. It is just that they may need time alone to think, reflect, and process through what they are feeling and thinking. Humans are naturally sociable creatures, but that does not mean spending some time alone by themselves is a bad thing.
Communicating with the person you are quarantined with is essential to not hate them, especially when you are quarantined with them for two or three months. No matter if it is something small, like a greeting, or something big, like a dinner, it is important to talk to one another. If they say “good morning” to you, respond with a “good morning,” or “morning,” back. If they ask you what you want for dinner, genuinely respond with what you want for dinner. If their response is something particular (crabby, sassy, or snippy), ask them if anything is wrong, or if they are feeling okay. In fact, with everything that is going on, it would be good to ask them how their day is going or how are they feeling. You never know what they have been going through. Maybe you are or were going through the same thing too.
3. Do Something Together
Now, just as it is good to give the person you are quarantined with some space, it is also good to spend some time with them. This can mean anything, in terms of activities to do with that said person. Such activities could include watching a movie marathon (Harry Potter, Marvel, Lord of The Rings, Hobbit, Pirates of The Caribbean, the 80s, Disney), playing games—board or video—,completing a 1000 + piece puzzle, walking the pets around the block (if you have any), doing some at-home workouts together, cooking meals, and baking desserts. Some of the less traditional activities to do could include prank each other (do not cross a line if a line is drawn), paint (canvas, a wall, each other, or anything glass), test each other’s ability to master a skill by a certain deadline (cooking a recipe, learn a new language, write a poem, memorize a dramatic monologue from a film or show, learn how to play an instrument, write a song, learn how to sew or knit), have a baking competition, make a music video together, and lastly, practice running a mile under five minutes. The list could go on, but unfortunately, I do not have the brains to list them all.
While communicating is half of the work of successful communication, the other half is to listen. Whether being quarantined is negatively affecting them, or that the news and constant updates of COVID-19 are giving them anxiety, you must be there for them and listen to them when they are speaking. If they choose to talk to you about what they are internally going through, it is up to them. However, it would be good to remind them—maybe once every day or every other day—that you are there for them and with them. Trust me. With everything that is going on in the world, it is not a bad thing to remind the person you love (or are isolating with) that you are with them. That they are not alone.
5. Creating A Routine
After being quarantined for as long as we all have by now, it is good to create a routine with one another. A structure, you could say. Usually, when we all go to work, we kiss our children and/or spouse goodbye, grab our morning coffee, lunch, and leave for work. After we got off of work, we would come home that night, kiss our children and/or spouse hello, and have dinner with them. That was our routine. Society (the world, really) helped us create that simple routine of ours. Things have changed. Now, we have to create our routine ourselves. Giving a sense of normalcy and structure will do some good, for both you and the person you are quarantined with. That being said, be sure to sit down with that said person and discuss the idea of creating a routine with them. Whether it is you are reading from 2pm to 4pm, doing an at-home workout from 4:30pm to 5:30pm, while they are running the treadmill from 2:30pm to 3:30 pm and doing their work from home from 4pm to 8pm. Afterward, at 9pm, the two of you could get together to watch a show or movie.