Living in a Shared Apartment: COVID Edition
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When you move in with new flatmates, you don't expect to spend as much time with them as you're probably doing right now in lockdown.
Sharing an apartment is a modern way of living for working professionals and students. A lot of people opt to live in a shared apartment to keep living expenses at a minimum. The reality is that the majority of people have too much of the month left at the end of their money, sharing rent and utility bills helps to keep costs down. Then there are people who simply don't want to live alone and prefer to have some human beings around. Whichever type of person you are, you might be questioning how you're going to stay sane during this coronavirus episode.
Some of you might be in a lockdown dream scenario of living with close friends or similar people you really get along with. Not everyone is so lucky. Getting together and living with random people from the internet obviously has its risks. Incompatibilities in characters are usually revealed after some time, it's easy to look past differences when you are at work five days a week, go to the beach, bars, and restaurants in the weekend - the stuff we take for granted. With the current situation, the reality is a lot different and people are confined to their homes, a place where personal space can be quite small when you're sharing.
One thing that will significantly help everyone is to embrace the situation - it is what it is and there's not much you can do about it. So stop complaining and get busy finding what to do, don't fall headfirst into the Netflix trap - try to stay active by finding a new hobby. Maybe baking? (it will make you popular with your flatmates), read books or learn some new skills you can make use of after this episode is over (internet duh). Perhaps you could get to know the people you live with a little bit more? Trying times form unlikely bonds.
Having an 'it is what it is' attitude is easier said than done. Living with people, regardless if they are familiar or unfamiliar, highlights how we behave and respond to pressured situations. Fear of getting sick, fear of passing on the sickness, worrying about the health of people you know or stressing out about losing work. All of these are legitimate reasons to be wary. Reality is that there's not much you can do to change the situation. It's up to you how you handle it though, every minute is an opportunity to do something other than worrying, that won't get you anywhere or make you feel any better.
Here are some ideas of what you can fill your time in lockdown with (and some pointers on how you could get along better with flatmates)
No ones Perfect
Recognize that you also have little quirks and annoyances in your behavior. Learn to laugh off trivialities and small annoyances you find with your flatmates, everyone has their ways, what does it matter if the ears of the mugs in the cupboards don't point in the same direction? Does it really bring anything to your life?
Take a Deep Breath
and count to 10, then escape to your bedroom for some sanity.
Establish a Cleaning Schedule
Get together and clean the apartment from top to bottom once per week. Constructive activity with a common goal will surely have a positive impact.
Find a New Hobby
Pick up an instrument. Maybe it's finally time to learn how to play that panpipe? Try your hands at baking and make some tasty treats. Become a master chef and challenge your cooking abilities. Plant some seeds and watch as the sprouts shoot up and watch your plants grow slowly, very slowly. Pick up some pencils or a brush and start painting.