COVID-19: Small space sanity tips

COVID-19: Small space sanity tips

At this stage in the game, we're all feeling a little like a dog wearing one of those plastic cones. We know staying home is keeping us healthy, but we’re all so ready to just be free again. There’s good news, though: the curve has flattened, Doug Ford is making noise about reopening things, so we just have to sit tight for a little longer. If you're starting to feel a little stir-crazy, you're definitely not alone. It's hard to self-isolate: living in a small condo makes it that much tougher. Need ideas to help you get through the last weeks of lockdown? We’ve got 8 good ones:

  1. Focus on the good stuff. Write down one thing (or 5 things or 10 things) you're thankful for right now. Like still being able to order a decent pizza. Connecting with virtual happy hours. Spending more time with your partner/kids. All kinds of experts tell us that gratitude is the path to happiness – and a recipe for getting through hard times. What’s good in your life today?

  2. Be by yourself. When you’re confined with other people, you can really start getting on each other’s nerves, no matter how much you love each other. Clear boundaries and a little planned solitude can help. Consciously spend time apart: set up a designated spot for being along, whether it’s in the same room or in separate areas. Head out solo on a (socially distant) walk or run. And encourage others to spend time on their own, too: if your partner or child wants to watch TV alone or doesn't want you to join them on their daily run, don't take it personally.

  3. Talk to other people. Yep, we're all pretty sick of video calls, so it's okay if you don’t want to connect with all your friends all the time. (Video calls can be weirdly exhausting – Zoom fatigue is totally a thing now.) But using technology can be an easy way to feel like you're leaving your space, so plan a Friday game night or post-work drinks. Don't really wanna talk? Netflix has got you covered: Netflix Party lets you watch stuff together online, no major conversation required.

  4. Move your body. If that pledge you made in March to get in the best shape of your life has gone out the window…don’t worry. We don't need to be putting a tonne of pressure on ourselves right now. But don't forget that exercise is a proven stress reliever and the perfect antidote for that yucky feeling we get when we sit around too much. It doesn't have to be a crazy workout: go for a walk, tune into an online Zumba class, sprint up some stairs in your building, or stretch out with some downward dog. It'll make you feel a little less like the walls are closing in on you. And remember, exercising doesn't just build muscle, it helps you release endorphins – you know, those feel-good hormones you need right about now.

  5. Stick to a routine. We're all creatures of habit – knowing what to expect gives us a sense of control. Your routine doesn't have to be super-rigid, but getting up at the same time each day, scheduling in some exercise, working the same hours (or if you're not working right now, using a set window to focus on a project you're interested in, take a class, or apply for new jobs), and going to bed around the same time can help you feel a little more normal.

  6. Get outside. If you aren’t self-isolating, step out for fresh air as often as you can. Throw on a great playlist or fascinating podcast and go for a walk. If you've got a balcony, use it. It hasn't been super warm lately, but you can bundle up and sit outside while you drink your morning coffee, have a work call or just watch the world go by. Stepping out of your indoor space offers will make you feel a little less cooped up.

  7. Laugh. The world is way too serious right now. Give yourself a little break from all the drama by watching standup comedy on YouTube, tuning in to a funny TV show, starting your next work call with a joke, or sharing funny memes. Laughing is so good for you. It releases endorphins, relieves stress and can help you relax. Plus, when you're laughing with your spouse/kids/housemates, it's a lot harder to be mad at them.

  8. Keep it clean. Clutter and mess can really crank up your stress. Straightening up can help you feel less stir-crazy (and hey, it’s something to do if you're bored). Pack up the stuff you don't use every day and store it (or donate it after the quarantine is lifted). No need to go “full Kondo” on your condo, but making things neater will help you feel a little less stir-crazy, guaranteed. There's serenity in a neat, clean, uncluttered space.

Hopefully, we won't be confined to our homes for too much longer, but until the lockdown is lifted, do what you can to have fun, stress less and enjoy life despite its limitations.

Got questions about small space living you'd like us to cover? Send in your ideas to [email protected]

Join 18,000 subscribers and get market news, insights & expert advice delivered straight to your inbox