Self-care for telecommuters living with partners and roommates

As efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic continue, many people feel confused and overwhelmed. Staying indoors to social distance contributes to this feeling, and may be exacerbated by our living arrangements. Balanced You has provided self-care tips for telecommuting employees living with children at home. It is important to also note that telecommuters who live with partners and roommates have their own unique experiences.

Quarantining at home with other adults has its rewards and challenges. Balanced You is here to support you in maintaining healthy relationships with roommates and partners, as well as your own physical and emotional health, during the pandemic. Below, you will find self-care tips and resources you can use as you respond, professionally and personally, to coronavirus.

Build a routine that includes simple to-dos, planned breaks, and mealtimes. Having a schedule is helpful to providing structure and balance. Consider the following:

  • Schedule news and media breaks from ongoing TV news and social media. The constant rush of information contributes to feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed. Consider checking only one or two reliable news sources, once or twice a day.
  • Include self-care pauses throughout the day. This could include a stretch break to start the day, deep breathing exercises before joining meetings, healthy snacks, moments of fun, or other options. Check out this Balanced You blogpost on self-care for telecommuters for ideas.
  • Be flexible when adjusting to a new routine and take it one small step at a time. Stress and anxiety are understandably high right now. Be gentle with yourself.

Speak regularly with spouses, roommates, etc. about needs, schedules, and ways to spend time together and alone. Consider the following:

  • Share your schedule with the other adults who share your home. Make sure you have your own, quiet space during work calls. Coordinate bonding activities and solo downtime.
  • Set boundaries as needed for workspaces, household chores, and sanitizing standards. Present your needs in a straightforward manner, and work with other adults in your home to compromise on a solution.
  • Remember that compromise is important in relationships and can be a positive, rather than a sacrifice, as long as you meet your basic needs and are not giving up too much of what is important to you.
  • Nurture relationships with each other. Set down your phone and try a fun movie, game night, or new dinner. Dedicate time to speak about world events, fond memories, favorite activities, and other topics.

Access available resources to support you during this time. A list of available resources are below. More can be found in this post..

  • Making Life Easier (MLE) provides many services, including free individual and relationship counseling, credit and legal consultations, mortgage assistance, childcare resources and referrals, and other daily living supports. MLE is available to King County employees, their dependents, and anyone who shares the employee’s home address. For more information, click here.
  • Mental or physical healthcare via telehealth is available for all employees and dependents registered with Regence and Kaiser. Therapists and other healthcare providers, including doctors and physical therapists, can be accessed from your home.
  • If you are experiencing domestic violence, or feel like you are in danger, please visit this link for resources to help you get and stay safe.

For more information about self-care during the coronavirus, visit the Balanced You blog, review these telecommuting resources from the Department of Human Resources, or read this helpful article by Greatist Magazine. For important information for King County employees about the coronavirus, visit www.kingcounty.gov/employees-coronavirus.

Questions? Contact balancedyou@kingcounty.gov.

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