With challenging times ahead, a lot of us could be facing an extended period of time in self-isolation with our spouses, partners, housemates and children. There is much uncertainty about how long this could be for and the impact it will have on our lives.The Government are providing daily updates but many of us remain anxious about various aspects of our lives including our finances, health and the wellbeing of our loved ones whilst we wait to see the full effect of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Forced proximity is a big challenge for any relationship. This is something that we may not be used to and it may cause us some real worry. So in order to help overcome any anxieties you may have during self-isolation please see below our top tips to navigate these challenges.
CommunicateTalk about your fears openly and honestly – self-isolation can be a high stress situation, so clear communication is extremely important during this time with loved ones. When talking to children keep it factual and adapt your language. Reassure them that they are safe and well.
BoundariesSet your boundaries – for example you may as housemates or spouses/partners all need to work from home. Naturally you will all have your own work routines, so it is important that you discuss how you work and what type of environment is going to benefit everyone. For example, you may need work in separate rooms, take breaks at different times or just not be around anyone during working hours.
CreativityBe creative – at times boredom is going to set in so get creative and keep yourselves amused. Do all those tasks that you put off, such as cleaning out cupboards, organising paperwork, and deep cleaning your home. If you have children, come up with a timetable of fun and games from artwork to playing in the garden in and around any school work.
Take a breakNormalise that it’s OK if you get on each other’s nerves, and decide on a signal that means ‘OK, we need a time-out.” This may mean you spend a few hours apart, need to talk or just need a hug.
Be thankfulGratitude – take time daily to focus on all the things that you are grateful for in one another and your family. If you can, share this by taking the time to check in with relatives, friends and neighbours who may be alone or struggling without support. If you feel able to, offer them any practical or emotional support you can.
RelaxationRelax – find relaxing things to do alone and together, for example, reading, playing with the children, watching a Netflix series and cooking. Making time to switch off from the world and focus on yourself is always good for your emotional and psychological wellbeing.
More informationThe Family Team at Pinney Talfourd appreciate that this is a challenging time for us all and we hope that this article helps readers to navigate the tricky times ahead of us.
This article was written by Kiren Dhillon, Senior Associate in the Family Law Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of February 2020.