Whether you're in college, living on your own away from your hometown, or starting a family of your own, you may have decided to combine households with your parents and shelter in place together. No matter how old you are or how long it's been since you've moved away, it's likely a little difficult to suddenly be living with your parents again. Even if you have the most harmonious family relationship, there's a reason you moved out in the first place; readjusting to life under your parents' roof can be a bit trying to say the least. On one hand, it's probably comforting to be with your family during a very stressful time in the world, when human contact in general is seriously limited; on the other, being an adult who is used to living on their own can cause some frustration, even over the most insignificant annoyances.
So, to help you navigate your new situation alongside your parents, we're giving you some easy resources to make your time at home a little less stressful — and maybe even fun!
The most important thing to do while sheltering in place with your family is setting boundaries. Be very open with your parents about when you need time to yourself, whether it's in your own room with the door closed, taking a socially distanced walk around the neighborhood, or perhaps just taking a solo drive in the car. Set aside times during the day when they know to not engage, especially if you are also trying to work while at their home. Carving out a space that is just yours is essential if you're used to living on your own.
The second most important thing to remember when sheltering in place with your parents: give people some slack. This is a weird time for everyone, not just you, so it's understandable that people might be a little more on edge or quick to get irritated than normal. Take this time to practice controlling your emotions and being empathetic to the people around you.
This is a great opportunity to get into meditation or mindful breathing exercises, or even explore your options when it comes to virtual therapy sessions. Remember that it's totally fine to feel the way you’re feeling, but try to take a beat before reacting and choose your battles. Instead of going off on your mom for making loud chewing noises while she eats, take a deep breath, check yourself before saying anything, and instead call your bestie after dinner to vent (out of earshot of your mom).
Once you’ve gotten into a groove, set up fun family activities that keep everyone entertained and give you an opportunity to bond. Cooking together is a great option — research new recipes that you're all excited about, or stick to tried-and-true comfort foods. Think: Campbell's® Condensed Tomato Soup and ooey-gooey, buttery grilled cheeses for delicious dipping. Props if you get the perfect melty-cheese pull! Bring your feast to the couch, snuggle up together under some comfy blankets, and have a movie or TV series marathon or game night.
Find shows that are new to all of you so you can relish in the experience of watching something you've never seen before together. If you're a little burnt out on TV, go for a family game night — grab classic board games like Scrabble, funny options like Apples to Apples, or even a virtual game on your phone like Heads Up. Whatever you choose to do, use the time as a way to show gratitude for the extra moments you're getting to spend with your family, even if they drive you a little crazy.
Photographer: Matthew Zach; Art Director: Samara Grossman; Hair and Makeup Artist: Elayna Bachman; Wardrobe Stylist: Elise Sandvik; Prop Stylist: Aja Coon; Food Stylist: Micah Morton; Producer: Cassie Doyle