Stay sane while under house arrest with your parents
April 9, 2020
Lately, we have all been dealing with unprecedented circumstances; it is completely normal to be confused about figuring out how to navigate them. It is stressful to not only adapt to the new restrictions we live under, but it can be even more stressful to stay in the same house for long periods of time with your parents. Since both of my parents are clinical therapists, I wanted to share ways on how to stay sane under house arrest with your family.
Yeah, all those mindful meditation apps can be helpful and have their utility, but I think making it out of this without burning bridges is going to take more than listening to Nick Offerman telling you to focus on your breath. We are accustomed to living without restrictions, and our parents have adapted to living without us at home.
Something we all need — physical space — is now a scare resource these days. As a result, a lot of people have taken to walking outside. Unfortunately, you can only take so many therapeutic walks throughout the day. There will be a lot of moments where we simply want to be alone or where we want to get out of doing something.
One technique I had was a blanket excuse I used throughout my entire childhood and in high school. I would make up Jewish holidays, but there were way too many kids in Champaign from the North Shore in order to get away with that excuse, so I’ve had to come up with new ones. When those times come, telling your parents you cannot be disturbed for an online quiz that will take however long is a get-out-of-jail-free card that goes unquestioned. I realized this is the first Friday classes started up again and am frankly upset I was not doing this over Thanksgiving the past three years.
A key to limiting conflict is preventing however much you can from starting initially. Since our parents are not as tech-savvy as our generation, they are more likely to ask for your help in handling all their technical difficulties throughout their transition from being in their regular workspace to working remotely at home.
Constantly being interrupted to help them with something not loading as fast as they would like or their screen freezing will get irritating—and it probably has happened to you at some point already.
The day I found out that in-person classes were canceled, I made sure to prevent any confusion in advance. I decorated both of their workspaces with reminders to simply restart their computer or unplug it for a minute if something goes wrong before bothering me about it.
This alone has cut down the amount of time I spend every day fixing things by 90%. It may not make as profound a difference for you as it did for me, but my parents are old — both on Medicare old. Naturally, I had to take action. With these tips, I hope the rest of your stay at the Hotel California more pleasant because in the end: you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave!
Noah is a junior in Business.