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Shelter-in-sane

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Editor-in-Chief getting scolded by her dad. Photo by Ava Kershner

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are stuck inside the house together for longer than normal. 

The shelter-in-place has brought many college students home as well, spending time taking online classes with their parents as their study buddies instead of their friends.  Not that families can’t be a person’s greatest support system, but a college student’s independence can be very valuable to them. 

This independence seems to have disappeared for those living at home. As the days go on, the spaces seem smaller, the noises more annoying, and the word “alone” may as well be taken out of the dictionary.

“My mom and brother are driving me crazy,” said Erinn Sawyer, a Cuesta College student. “They always have, but now more than ever.”

Listen. There are only so many walks a day a person can take. If grouchy silence or screaming matches have infiltrated your household, it’s time for an intervention. 

Fights are going to happen. With the stress of the pandemic looming over everyone’s head, it can be a little easier to lose it over something as small as your sister chewing too loud. A way to escape those moments include using an anger outlet other than stealing her clothes. 

To let things go physically without violence, exercise is a top choice. Especially if you have a punching bag. Getting negative energy out while keeping a healthy body can lead to a calmer household. 

When it comes to the mental aspect, journaling, meditation, and creative expression can channel frustration into something beneficial. 

One of the main benefits of journaling is simply taking the thoughts from your mind and transferring them to a piece of paper. This can release anger and give a little more perspective on the situation. Plus, it provides evidence to the I-survived-a-global-pandemic story you can tell your kids someday. 

According to The Harvard Gazette, mindful meditation can affect the brain in a very positive way. Just think, families can’t yell at each other when it’s group meditation time. 

Instead of punching your brother in the face, paint a picture of you punching your brother in the face. This way, violence shall be avoided but the intent will be revealed, getting the feelings out in the open and unleashing the inner artist. 

Creative expression is a way to distract your mind from aggravating situations. Since so many people are spending more time in the house, might as well brighten it up with drawings, decorations, and doodles.

As these unprecedented times roll on, families may prove to be not as functional as the Christmas cards show. There’s a point where deep breaths are not deep enough. When you’re cramped in a house with them, just remember: they’re cramped in a house with you.