Getting Along with your Roomies

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So. Anyone sharing a confined space with people, and struggling to stay at home? We feel you! 

The physical distancing rules really emphasises that staying at home is one of the best ways for everyone to keep the virus at bay. But what if you really don’t get along with the people you are sharing your space with? Here are some top tips!

Create Stronger Boundaries

Maybe your roommate is annoying, constantly making loud noises, getting on your nerves, or cannot stop talking about the Coronavirus (everyone needs a break!). Establishing firm boundaries can really help with this!

  • Recommend that you only look at the news once a day to stay up-to-date.
  • Set some ground rules – sometimes you don’t want to chat, and that should be ok. Have a cleaning rota on tasks that need to be done. Maybe you should ensure you have some place of your own in your living space?
  • Blame all the issues on the house on someone else that doesn’t exist!

Stay in touch with Friends

This has probably been said again and again; self-isolation doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself completely. Online tools like social media, zoom, and Netflix Party can give you some space online, so you can escape for a while and have fun. Everyone is in the same boat here, so you can share your fears but also support each other during a really tough period of time. 

Velociraptors are notoriously bad roommates

Create Structure for Home Life

Chaos can thrive when there is no structure to work from. Creating some sort of routine can help everyone in the house, and can create a new base to work from. Hopefully, this will help you understand your roomies, and vice versa. 

  • Set meal times – eating together can really help communication, and will keep everyone sane.
  • Share the housework – don’t allow resentment to build, and make sure everyone does their fair share.
  • Less screentime – putting your phone down at mealtimes can help your stress levels, and you might get a chance to properly talk to the people giving you a hard time and understand them better. 

Ask for more support 

Of course, this advice only helps if you’re already living in a somewhat healthy living environment. There are some people living at home when they really don’t want to, and can face abuse. Please reach out to support services, and ask for help – there are lots of ways to get the help you need. 

  • Women’s Aid can help you if you are experiencing domestic violence. They give advice on how you can help yourself and others. You can also contact them 24 hours-a-day on 1800 341 900.
  • Amen is a service for men who are experiencing domestic violence. You can call them on 046 902 3718. Their helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
  • Aoibhneas is a women and children’s refuge. You can contact them 24 hours-a-day on 01 867 0701 or email helpline@aoibhneas.ie
  • Immigrant Council of Ireland give advice on migrant women’s rights and domestic violence.
  • AkiDwA is a national network of African and migrant women living in Ireland, that aims to promote equality and justice. You can contact them 01 814 8582 or email info@akidwa.ie
  • The National Office for Victims of Abuse provides assistance, support and advice for people in abusive relationships. Freephone 1800 252 524.

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