How to cope-up with lockdown in flat-sharing?

When it comes to moving to a new city for work or education, many people prefer to look for shared accommodation because unless you are sitting on a huge pile of cash, having flatmates is the best way to live without depleting all your resources. And ultimately, the best part about having flatmates is knowing that you have someone at home who can support you especially during these trying times.

Moreover, as the coronavirus continues to spread through close human interaction, and another lockdown is in place due to a sudden spike in numbers, socialising is again at a halt. Living in shared accommodation can provide you with the benefit of social connection and reduced cost.So, rather than spending the majority of time at jobs/school, those living with flatmates are now crammed up together for the whole day.

Although you get to spend more time with your housemate, this closeness can hamper social distancing and might require a few additional steps to protect themselves during the COVID-19 induced lockdown. So, we have come up with some tips to help flatmates take care of their wellbeing and stay safe during the outbreak.

  1. Patience is the key

Even under normal circumstances, living with flatmates/ or roommates can be tricky and now with added pandemic anxiety, things can get stirred up at home. So, to avoid any conflict, it is important to make sure that everyone stays on the same page and communicates honestly with one another in order to avoid any friction. You are most likely to experience some disagreements and some tension but keeping your cool and not acting aggressively is the only way to go through this pandemic together.

  1. Put safety rules in place

In order to ensure the safety of everyone, avoid unnecessary visits outside. Wash your hands regularly, disinfect door handles, clean vegetables and fruits, and any shared item. In addition to that, don’t share towels, clothes and only go out when absolutely necessary. Wear masks when going out of the apartment and sneeze into your elbow when inside.

  1. Create a contingency action plan

It is important to create a plan in case one of your flatmates is infected as others will be at a greater risk of being exposed to the virus. Although there might be disagreements, creating a contingency plan for other people is well worth the effort and prompt communication can keep others safe.

  1. Respect each others’ needs

Everyone has their responsibilities such as taking online classes or working from home. Try to put down ground rules for everyone to abide by to make it easier for everyone to perform their duties from home. For example, not taking calls or online classes in a common space or using headphones to avoid disturbing others. It will be easier to go through the coronavirus pandemic together if everyone is respectful of the needs of others.

  1. Be ready to experience some tension

Things are expected to become difficult in the coming weeks or months to come, especially when living with people for too long. Spending too much time can introduce new challenges and might drive people nuts, but keeping an open channel for communication might keep friction at bay. It is important for everyone to understand that times are tough but the more open you communicate, the easier it will be for everyone to go through this crisis safely and effectively.

For many people living in shared accommodation during the pandemic brings another level of worries, annoyance and concern over safety and sharing. This makes it even more important for flatmates to communicate. People’s brains are reaching a saturation point, which makes empathy and tolerance to run low, so clarity and patience are crucial. However, during a time like your flatmates will step in and serve as your family. 

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