Social distancing and quarantining are difficult for everyone, but potentially even more so for those of us who are cooped up in a 400-square-foot apartment with a roommate we may or may not have met on Craigslist. To avoid losing your mind while in isolation, follow these helpful tips courtesy of Common, a brand that manages more than 1,600 co-living and microstudio residences in seven cities around the country.
1. Create an updated version of your roommate agreement
You probably have some sort of guidelines—written or not—for how you live together: Alternating deep cleans, restocking toilet paper, etc. Because our day-to-day looks so different now than it did when you first learned how to live with each other, it’s time to revisit these guidelines. It’s all about finding a middle ground and avoiding any unnecessary conflict. Take time to sit down with your roommate and discuss how to best adjust your cleaning and personal space boundaries. That could mean rethinking your cleaning schedule or setting times for working in the common areas.
2. Find something to bond over
Now, this might seem a little pie in the sky for some people (and might be out of the question for certain toxic roommate situations), but since you’re likely spending more time with your roommate than ever, it can be a great opportunity to spend time together by playing a board game, trying out a new recipe or even hosting a virtual dinner party. Human connection is a great way to combat the anxiety or sadness you might be feeling right now. (By the way, both of those feelings are totally valid and understandable.)
3. Create space and time to be alone
No matter how much you enjoy your roommates’ company, everyone needs some time to themselves. Taking time to decompress is important when you’re cooped up with the same person (or people) all day. Boundaries, people.
4. Get some fresh air
If you aren’t at high risk for contracting COVID-19, try to prioritize moments alone outside of your apartment. This could mean taking a long walk around your neighborhood or even just grabbing fresh air on your balcony, roof or through an open window.
5. Practice random acts of kindness
Whether it’s making a communal pot of coffee, or surprise ordering cookies from a local restaurant, small gestures can go a long way in tough times and set the tone for your house. In addition to livening up a stagnant schedule, it’s a great way to support local businesses too.