Spending quality time with the people you love is essential to keep yourself from feeling lonely and let you know that people still care about you. This sounds nice in practice, however, it is not necessarily the case when suddenly everyone in your household is home all day every day. In times like these balance is crucial to keep yourself from going crazy in isolation or feeling overwhelmed by your family. Here are some tips for working quality time to be with your loved ones into your schedule.
1. Spend some time apart
Yes, having quality time with your loved ones is important. This does not mean you have to be connected at the hip and spend every waking moment with each other. Before the pandemic happened, everyone had their own lives whether it was work, school or both. Now, of course, we have to figure out a way to navigate still having our own lives while under the same roof.
Setting up boundaries can be extremely beneficial whether you want to focus on being productive or relaxing. Physically separating yourself by going to a space you can call your own in your home can help reinforce these boundaries whether it’s your bedroom or outdoors. By spending some time apart, it will make the time you spend together feel that much more special.
2. Have fun at night
It seems like there is a consensus that we all miss going out at night. Seeing our friends on the weekends and going out or staying was one of the things we all looked forward to all week. The physical distance does not have to keep you from having fun when the sun goes down. Within your household, try scheduling a dedicated time when everyone comes together to spend quality time with each other.
Dinner and a movie night is a tried and true ritual that everyone enjoys, but consider having a game night, crafts, or anything you know will bring your family together. This can help take the pressure off if you feel like you are not spending enough time with your loved ones, especially now. Having this scheduled time will make sure you have consistent family time while keeping spirits light.
3. Schedule regular video calls
Our loved ones who are outside your household like friends, significant others, and colleagues are probably the ones we miss the most. It’s normal to feel this way since they are still considered loved ones even if they don’t live with you. Thankfully the lockdown doesn’t mean we have to be left in the dark about how they are doing. Schedule a video call on a weekly basis or even a daily basis if you feel like it. This gives you a chance to connect with people in the outside world since they matter just as much.
Although we would much rather be in their presence and feel their embrace, this is the best we can do at this moment. Enjoy a nice lunch or coffee over video chat like how you normally would or get a group together on the weekend. Seeing their faces and hearing their voices can make you feel that much more connected which is crucial.
4. Create a routine
In a time of uncertainty, we may need to lean on some semblance of consistency. This is why having a routine can help when we are going out less and our environments become much smaller. Try to wake up at the same time and have a set time dedicated to working and relaxing by yourself. This leaves you time that you can spend some quality time with your loved ones. This helps make sure that the time we are spending with our loved ones is quality time. It’s easy to feel irritable around others if we feel like our own needs have not been fulfilled or we haven’t stuck to our own schedules. While it’s important to set your own routine, it’s equally as important to not be so strict about it. Try mixing things up once in a while so the days don’t feel as though they blend together, which tends to happen if we are in the same environment for a prolonged period of time.
5. Try different activities
While we are all staying home much more than we usually would, this has lead to a rise in wanting to try something new. While you should not feel pressured to do something for the sake of feeling productive, it would not hurt to try something new in the meantime. This is one of the ways you can spend time with your loved ones and have fun doing so. There are plenty of activities you can do safely within your household such as finding a work out routine, cooking new recipes, our finding a new series to watch. You can certainly do these activities alone, but they could be a bit more fun if you have someone with you to help out and laugh along with.
6. Check-in with them regularly
Everyone is processing this time that we are living in differently. Emotions are all over the place and can cycle between hopefulness and hopelessness. This is completely normal and it’s important to let these feelings be felt. Check-in with your loved ones and see how they are doing. Sometimes how they are feeling will not appear so obvious, so be sure to ask even if they don’t “look sad”. They will be sure to appreciate it, since it’s a gesture that shows that you care about them. Having an open conversation about feelings is a healthy way to spend quality time with your loved ones. These conversations should not be forced, sometimes it’s difficult to articulate all the feelings that we are going through. Just remember to be patient and open. When they are ready, they will let you know. Quality time doesn’t always have to be fun time, and if there are days when we feel down it’s important to have loved ones to rely on. This goes for the people in your household as well as outside. If you feel like talking with a loved one, do not hesitate to reach out to someone you can trust and want to spend quality time with. Sometimes it is just what they need.