Written by: Olivia Ventra, Health Fitness Specialist
In this new coronavirus reality, the family home has become the epicenter of everything from school to daycare to work to social lives and it’s not an easy plate for parents to balance. However the “family home” doesn’t have to mean the typical nuclear family. I am currently living with my little family of four other 20-somethings and we’re also struggling. Everyone is facing changes and challenges right now and we need the support of those close to us more than ever, but it can be a difficult equilibrium to maintain without becoming overwhelmed and burnt out. This pandemic has the opportunity to provide an extended recharge for all types of American families as time together becomes abundant under stay at home orders.
Cooped-up groups may be incredibly tired of the day-to-day quarreling and whining but historically, enduring hardships together builds stronger connections. The U.S. divorce rate plummeted during the Great Depression and the financial crash of 2008 as families were forced to come together and support each other, which is what we must do now as we ride out this pandemic with our clans. No matter which way you look at it, forcing multiple generations (or roommates who don’t get along) to live in the same space with no end in sight can certainly test patience, but it allows us to have a very unique opportunity to grow and allow deeper connections with family and friends to flourish.
Prior to the start of quarantine, I truthfully didn’t consider my roommates to be my family, we just weren’t that close yet. As the weeks have progressed, we’ve leaned on each other more and before I knew it these four young adults have become my saving grace. Though we don’t have children to balance in our family dynamic, our relationship has deepened immensely through family game nights and charcuterie boards and I’m extremely grateful to have each of them. They’ve become a huge source of comfort in my life during these unprecedented times.
As you care for others, be sure you find time for yourself to breathe and refocus. Try setting up a virtual “babysitting” session with someone who can entertain your little ones for even a few minutes, everyone deserves a break.
For better or worse, these months spent inside will have a lasting impact. Choose to continue some of these new habits (cooking together, bike rides, scavenger hunts, etc) even after the stay at home orders are lifted and sustain the deeper bond.
This month our talented content writers bring you expert health tips during this extended stay-cation. Follow the links below to view helpful resources, including a featured workout, healthy recipes to cook with friends and family, and ideas for staying healthy together at home.