Focusing on yourself while living with family

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For one reason or another, you may find yourself needing to live with family for a time. Whether it’s because of financial hardship, because of health, or because a new job takes you to a new city, moving in with family can happen and poses a certain challenge. It isn’t easy to focus on yourself while living with family, so you need to get creative.

Back in February, we made the choice to move 100 miles away, to my husband’s hometown, so he could have a better work opportunity. This move meant we would be staying with his parents until we could get settled and find a place of our own. For 8 weeks, we stayed there and there

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While there are a lot of challenges when living with family, but there is one part of living with family that posed the greatest issue. Getting time for yourself, in a confined space, with limited resources, and multiple distractions it definitely is more difficult than when you’re on your own. My experience is probably a little more tricky too, since 5 days after moving into my in-laws home we went into the Covid-19 lockdown, so everything closed down and there was nowhere to go or things to do.

Ways to focus on yourself

This is where I struggled most. When you live with family, your routines aren’t necessarily the same, and no matter how comfortable you are, sometimes you’re just awkward about things. For me, when my routine is thrown off it throws everything off, including my self-care routine.

When you’re ready to start, it is time to go back to the very basics. I’ve mentioned it time and time again. I am a paper girl, so I start by writing out my most wanted things. What are the things I can do in my time and budget constraints?

My top 15 self-care choices

  1. Go for a walk
  2. Do a face mask
  3. Color (with your kid or in an adult book)
  4. Read a good book
  5. Organize your space
  6. Work on a craft
  7. Work out
  8. Purge unwanted things and donate them
  9. Play a game
  10. Watch your favorite movie or show
  11. Dance to uplifting music
  12. Go outside and enjoy the sunshine
  13. Get on a phone call or video chat with a good friend
  14. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep
  15. Get dressed when you wake up, don’t delay

The struggle is real!

Know that your struggle to find self-care is not unique to you. Living with family is so hard, and messes with your schedule in the worst ways. Don’t feel alone in this. It is hard. I have a pretty good self-care routine, but when we were living with family, it was reduced to almost nothing. Which meant a pretty big hit to my mental health, on top of losing my self-care routine.

You cannot expect that when your life has such a big change that you will keep your usual routine. If you’re able to, please send me your magic. Of course, pandemic distance learning with our preschooler didn’t help give me extra time for myself., but yet somehow we managed. I know and could feel that my lack of self-care was affecting me in many ways.

Living with family is so difficult, especially after being on your own for so long, so finding the new normal for you and and your family is difficult. It isn’t easy to mesh everyone’s schedules and make sure you’re ready for the struggle of self-care in the midst of chaos. I believe too, that it is different if you’re living with your family, or your in-laws. There is a comfort in being with your family, no matter how long you’ve been with your spouse, living with in-laws gets complicated.

Work through your insecurities and find things that you’re comfortable doing. Use the extra hands to watch your kiddos and give yourself a break. One of the best things we did was have my Mother-in-law watch Little Miss, and go to the grocery store on our own. Of course, being mid-pandemic shut down, there wasn’t and isn’t much to do alone, so we used this time to really just talk and connect at a deeper level. Plus the retail therapy helped.

Have you lived with family? What did you do to maintain self-care?

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