5 Tips On How To Deal With Toxic Family Members When You're Quarantined At Home

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5 Tips On How To Deal With Toxic Family Members When You're Quarantined At Home
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As difficult as the current COVID-19 outbreak is, many young people who have unstable home lives have had a harder time adjusting to the situation than others. Across the country, universities have evacuated all students from on-campus housing until further notice. Many students are unsure how long this will last or if they will be able to come back at all.

Unfortunately, not everyone’s home life is as healthy as others. Many young people may endure emotional and mental turmoil in their homes with their families and feel as though they have nowhere to go. Returning to a home with family members who create a toxic environment for you can trigger anxiety, mental breakdowns, and even long-term depression.

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If the coronavirus pandemic has caused you to return to a home environment where your family has a detrimental effect on your mental health while you have to quarantine, follow these 5 tips to handle a toxic family while social distancing,

1. Create — and maintain — your own space.

Try to find a space within your house that you use for your own personal time, and maintain that space to be just your own so that you can retreat to it when you need it most. When we have space in which we are able to go to just be alone to spend time with ourselves, it gives us the freedom we need to get away and cool down so we can gather up our thoughts.

If you have a home environment in which you can’t find a space, such as a small apartment or if you're quarantined at home with a large family that doesn't offer much privacy, try to substitute this lack of space by taking morning walks by yourself or maybe even with a pet. Take time to get your mind together so you can figure out how to give you the self-care you deserve during this time.

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2. Focus on your future plans.

During this time of unrest while you're quarantined at home, you might feel like you nowhere else to go and everything is crashing down on you. It's easy to feel that way, especially now. But believe it or not, now is the best time to focus on your future plans. What else do you have to do?

Right now there is not much you can control, so if you waste time focusing on what wrong, you will never be able to lift yourself out of the situation and build something for yourself away from the toxic people in your life. Reserve time in the day where you do nothing but make plans and identify steps in order to achieve your goals.

Make yourself a vision board, write in your journal or your planner. Do something creative to organize yourself so that when things settle and you leave quarantine (it will come!), you are prepared to step foot into your bigger, better future.

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3. Seek help, if you need it.

If you live in a home environment where there is violence or immediate threats of danger, seek help from the Family Violence Prevention Center or research a local place that can best help you in your situation.

Also, if you feel like your mental health isn't in the right place and you need someone outside of your home to rely on, reach out to friends or research online therapists and life coaches who you can speak to without ever leaving quarantine. There are plenty of organizations that offer free and low-cost counseling, so if you feel like you need a mental health check-up, now is as best a time as any to take advantage of those services.

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4. Reach out to an old friend.

If your home life mentally drains you or prohibits you from being able to follow these steps, try reaching out to an extended family member or an old friend for advice — and if you're able to try to stay with them during the quarantine, even better. If this option is not available, try to talk to the people that ground you on a normal basis — video chat is best so that you're talking face-to-face — they will let you know what they can do to help.

It’s also good to be able to speak to someone on a normal basis who you have a good relationship with so that you don’t feel alone. Quarantine can be isolating — especially if you're surrounded by people who don't support you or bring negativity into your life — so remember to reach out to the people outside of your household so you can feel like you're still part of the outside world.

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5. Meditate and find peace within yourself.

When being surrounded by negativity and chaos, especially in a situation like the coronavirus pandemic, it might feel like sitting in the middle of a hurricane with nowhere to go. In times like this, it’s important to focus on the parts in your life you can control instead of the parts you can’t.

Take time out the day to isolate yourself — think of the things in your life that you are grateful for. Sometimes we focus on the negative aspects of our lives to the point where we forget the good. When you remind yourself of all the good things, you will start to be grateful for the present and you can start channeling all of your frustration and anger into creating plans for the future.

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Maatie Kalokoh is a writer who focuses on pop culture, religion and relationship topics.

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