With the current coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to support and be supported by your household: they’re really the only people you’re legally allowed to see right now. With many currently facing mental health issues even more so than before, surrounding yourself with loved ones has become a little more crucial.
This one is a favourite in my flat. If you’ve got a good cook in the house, you’re definitely on to a winner. Sitting down together for a meal once a week is great for bonding with your flatmates, and sometimes does wonders if you’re feeling down – it’s always something to look forward to at the end of a stressful week of online lectures and boring seminars. Plus, eating a substantial meal is important for your health. It’s better to eat something than nothing!
I feel as if this one’s a given. Tuesday night? Say goodbye to work, put the telly on, and get ready to judge and laugh at the bakers who manage to mess up cupcakes. It always lights up the evening when you’re all sat around together, discussing the fact that no one seems to like Paul Hollywood and his piercing, judge stare, and how he’s mean enough to set an ice cream cake task on the hottest day of the year. Get invested!
If you’ve got a couple of fitness gurus in your flat, bonding in this way is pretty much perfect. Whip out the yoga mats, dumbbells, and switch on some motivational music, or alternatively, push each other by going for runs together. Going out as a two or three means you’re less likely to put off going out – especially if you’re anxious or bored by the thought of going alone. Lancaster’s weather can be a bit grim so sometimes going to the gym together as a group may work better.
However, if you’re not a fan of gyms, or even strenuous exercise, Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube provides really fun and semi-easy daily routines (this one takes me back to the first lockdown – attempting to hold a downward dog position with my sister whilst trying not to laugh sometimes got me through the long weeks of the spring and summer).
I know the comfort of your own home can never replace the reverberating, crazy atmosphere of The Sugarhouse, but drinking in can be a different kind of fun. From personal experience, I know it can sometimes be difficult to bond with a group of new people at first, but a little bit of alcohol should do the trick of giving everyone a bit of a confidence boost to break the ice and spill the beans.
Get your Aldi and Lidl vodka at the ready (you’ll probably save a bomb compared to splashing the cash at the bars too), and don’t forget the mixers (special shout out to Aldi’s 17p diet lemonade). Sometimes a rowdy night in with a bit of kitchen dancing is just what you need to lift your spirits in these troubling times. Just try to avoid irritating the neighbours!
I hope these few tips on bonding with flatmates help. It can be extremely difficult to put yourself out there, especially if you have mental health struggles, but know that you are definitely not alone.