Because nothing brings out the worst in people like being confined to the same four walls.
Make up a fake housemate/colleague
Having a third person to blame tiny annoyances on can relieve the pressure between you and your partner or housemate during an oddly intense time. Dirty cups left on the side? Bins not been taken out? It’s bloody Cheryl again. Not only will it create a fun narrative for your time couped up together, but it’ll also help with any underlying frustrations you have with the person you’re living with and create a little bond between you both. No one wants to fall out when you have to spend 24/7 together!
Create your own workspace
Rather than forcing the poor person who’s stuck with you into spending even more time with you (because the reality is, they probably do want a bit of peace and quiet), create your own workspace where you can get on with your daily duties as you would if you were actually at work. That way, you can avoid blurring the lines between living together, and being consumed in every single aspect of each other’s lives.
Develop a mini-routine for yourself
Following on from the previous point, try and create your own routine as you’d usually have if you weren’t isolated at home. Whether it’s scheduling in a bath in the evening, having lunch while catching up on an episode of one of your favourite shows, or doing your own Yoga session, make sure you spend a little time with yourself and avoid getting on top of each other during this time.
Create a joint Spotify/Netflix list
We all have different tastes, that goes without saying, particularly when around 8-10 hours of your day you’re now spending with someone you wouldn’t usually see throughout the day. If you usually let out your daily work frustrations with a playlist full of heavy metal, that’s fine, but maybe collaborate with your housemate so you can both have a bit of something you like while you work from home. The same goes for Netflix, too.
Operate a daily cleaning rota
This one’s to be expected. At home more? You’re probably producing twice as much rubbish and mess as you usually would, if not more. Make sure everyone’s doing their bit to keep the space clean daily – that includes regularly doing the dishes (to those lazy folk who like to skip their day of duty!).
Wear headphones during work calls
Now this one comes from personal experience. There really is no quicker way of making your housemate use a variety of expletives under their breath than taking Skype calls on loud for everyone to hear. If you want to minimise your housemate having lots of built-up anger towards you while they’re trying to get through the working day, you’d better crack out those headphones. It’s for everyone’s wellbeing, trust me.
Have fake ‘dates’
Just because you’re stuck inside, doesn’t mean you should disregard quality time. Whether it’s a housemate date or one with your significant other, be sure to schedule in that time you’d usually spend together outside of the house doing things that you like, but altered for an at-home date instead. If you’d usually order a takeaway and drink wine while watching Riverdale, then schedule it in to look forward to, even if it means making your very own ‘fakeaway’.
Try not to loosen the boundaries
If you wouldn’t usually swan into the bathroom while your partner’s taking a bath to use the toilet, then probably don’t start doing it now you’re spending lots of time together. You’ll want your relationship to remain as normal both during and after self-isolation, so now’s probably not the time to start bugging them and overstepping the lines.