Living in a student house is often a time in people's lives on which they look back with fond memories! However, now that the UK is on lockdown and emotions are running high, it's completely natural if you're struggling with living with your housemates.
Today's blog is The Ultimate Guide To Living With Housemates During Lockdown to help you keep problems at bay and help you tackle them if they do arise.
Don’t Invite People Over
This should go without saying, but it does happen. At the moment, we’re in lockdown to stop spreading the coronavirus, so inviting people to your house who you’re not on lockdown with is really dangerous. We know it’s tough to not be seeing family and friends, but this won’t be forever, and there are lots of ways you can stay in touch with the people you miss. Plus, you can read our blog post on 6 Of The Best Apps And Tools For Staying In Touch With Your Family And Friends for pointers. In short, not inviting people over during lockdown should be your #1 house rule. Safety first.
Spend Time Together
Whether you’re best friends or just acquaintances, spending time with your housemates can really take the edge off lockdown, not to mention help you build stronger bonds with each other.
When you live together, you might see each other a lot, but not spend any real, quality time together. If that sounds like you and your housemates, why not carve out some time each week to properly hang out together? Try having lunch together, cooking for each other, or hosting a weekly games night.
If spending time together is likely to cause any problems, however, lockdown might not be the best time to start! Only you and your housemates will know what is appropriate for your situation.
Check In With Each Other
So many people are suffering in so many different ways at the moment and sometimes you won’t know what someone is going through. Now more than ever, it’s important to check in with each other to see who needs support.
Check in with each other (it doesn’t have to be formal!) once a day or once a week, whatever works best for your situation, and offer support where necessary if you can. Ask them if they want to talk and, if they don’t, let them know that you’re there to listen if and when they need you to.
Give Each Other Space
Giving each other space is one of the golden rules of living with just about anyone, but now it couldn’t be more applicable. As you’re likely going to be at home a lot more than usual, giving yourself and others space to unwind is essential.
If you’re working from home and able to work in separate rooms, that can be a really good way of keeping some kind of normality. Or, you can let others know when you need to be by yourself for a while. That could be by telling them in person or coming up with a signal together. Scheduling in time for yourself and letting others do the same is important anyway, but perhaps more important now than usual.
In most situations, communication between housemates is essential, and so important for healthy relationships. Telling each other what you need and what you expect can make the overall running of and living in the house go much more smoothly.
However, while we’re on lockdown, being more careful about what you communicate (and how you communicate it) can help to keep the peace. Now might not be the time to bring up your housemate leaving a few dirty dishes out overnight - compromise is key during these times.
If your housemates are being reckless with lockdown rules though, perhaps by going out unnecessarily or going to other people’s houses, that is a discussion that needs to be had.
Leave The House
If you’re able to, going for a walk or exercising outside of the house for up to one hour per day can be really beneficial for both your mind and body. Plus, taking a daily break from being in the house can reduce tension with your housemates.
Being cooped up together can really add pressure to your relationships, so getting out by yourself, stretching your legs, and letting those mood-boosting endorphins kick in can really work wonders.
Everyone Needs To Isolate Even If Just One Of You Has Symptoms
The government advice is that, even if just one person in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, you all need to isolate. If you’re not sure what the government’s advice is, this gov.uk webpage will tell you everything you need to know.
Talk About The Best Parts Of Your Day
There’s no doubt that times are stressful at the moment, which is all the more reason to try to stay positive. Taking some time each day to reflect with your housemates on some of the good things that have happened - even if that’s just making your bed or having a video call with your family - can help to change the vibe from stressful to grateful.
We hope you're all staying safe during the COVID-19 lockdown. To keep you entertained, we have many more articles on our StudentHQ blog - find them here.