How to be a good lockdown housemate
Last week brought news of a second lockdown, and although we’ve managed to get through it before it seems very frustrating to have to do it again. We all know lockdown is designed to keep us safe and minimise the risks of spreading Coronavirus. However, being shut in at university away from our families (and with the dark winter months hanging over our heads) it’s understandable that we aren’t all thrilled about it. What’s important is that we don’t take this frustration out on those we live with- nothing can be worse than being locked in with people who you can’t stand the sight of! So, here’s 5 tips on how to be a good lockdown housemate for the next month.
- Work together
Despite the government advice, no-one will be shocked if people start panic-buying again. Instead of all shopping individually, maximise your assets and work together. Make a communal list and take it in turns to collect the shopping. Alternatively, minimise the risks by allocating the shopping job to one person, and then take them off the cleaning rota for the duration of lockdown. Talking of cleaning, make sure everyone is putting the effort in to keep the house tidy, or arguments are bound to start. Delegate, and play fair!
2. Stay safe
This is absolutely crucial. It puts you and your flatmates at risk if you break the lockdown rules. You could be faced with fines, or worse, the virus. You need to make sure everyone is aware of the new guidelines and keeps updated, as well as sounding out if anyone has any particular shielding requirements. If there is a possibility that you will have to self-isolate, then make sure everyone in the house is doing it and playing their part. It’s vital that everyone is safe, and that everyone is happy.
3. Give people space
After a few weeks of the same four walls, everyone is bound to get grouchy, so it’s really important to respect each other’s privacy and personal space. If you know your housemate is phoning their long-distance girlfriend, don’t hang around their heels. If someone’s got an online lecture, then don’t hog the bandwidth streaming Netflix. Simple courtesies, and knowing when to get out of someone’s personal space bubble, are important values in a good housemate. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for some space if you feel like you need it, and don’t be offended if your bestie needs some alone time.
4. Stay attentive
Although it’s vital to give each other space, it’s equally important to make sure that no-one is feeling alone. Lockdown is a difficult time for everyone, particularly those who suffer with their mental health. Make sure to check up on your housemates, especially if you know they’re feeling low or homesick. Even something as small as offering them a cup of tea and a chat can make such a difference.
Finally, it’s important that you don’t spend the whole of the lockdown on a downer. If you’re feeling low, try and find something fun to do- get creative, or play a game! Although it can be tempting to wallow in self-pity and engage your housemates in long rants about how boring lockdown is, this will quickly get tedious and annoying for everyone. Take some time to think about one good thing that has made you smile in a day, and try to share that with your housemates.
Hopefully these tips will prevent you and your housemates from getting under each-other’s skin during the next month. We’re one weekend down everyone, keep it up!