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Four Ways to Fall Back in Love with Your Flat (now that you’re spending so much time there)

This is something I never thought I would ever say, but here goes: I miss the library. I miss having a schedule to my day, I miss the sweet feeling of productivity after day-long study sessions with my friends, and I miss coming home to my work-free safe-haven flat. 

Now, all of that has changed. The library feels like something from a dystopian novel, and most cafés in town limit customers to an hour. As someone who can’t seem to focus unless they’re surrounded by other people working as well, this has been a difficult adjustment. After café-hopping and spending more money on coffee than I ever thought I would, whether I like it or not, I have to go home and spend more time there than I would usually like to. Two months into the semester, I have finally seemed to adjust to the new normal. Instead of rushing to the library to squeeze in a few hours of work before a lecture, I curl up with my breakfast and a cup of tea and work in quiet solitude. 

Remarkably, I have, as the title suggests, fallen back in love with my flat. I love my cozy cotton blanket, I love the steam that fogs up my kitchen windows after a home-cooked meal, and the soft glow of my lamps when evening comes and I start to wind down after a long day. For those of you struggling with similar feelings of displacement or claustrophobia, here are a few ways to fall back in love with your flat during these bizarre times: 

Notice the Little Things

Notice how the morning light seeps through the windows just right, enveloping the room in a peaceful ambience. Notice the flowers sitting on the kitchen table, how they’re wilting, and probably need water soon. Notice this safe place you can call your home. Notice how it’s soon time to look forward to how cozy everything will start to feel as the winter months creep in and the days get a little darker a lot sooner. Notice how homely the living room will soon feel after you put up some Christmas lights.  

Establish healthy work-relaxation boundaries 

I know it can be tempting to work on school assignments from the comfort of your bed. Instead, try establishing boundaries between your new workspace, and the space you unwind in. Demarcating clear living spaces will help life feel a little more organized at a time when everything feels as disorganized as it could possibly be.

Create Some New Rituals 

Having little rituals around the house could help you feel closer to your home. First thing after you wake up, brew yourself a fresh cup of tea (or coffee, or hot water with lemon), and drink it with no distractions – no phone, no music. Simply sit in silence with your warming drink for a few moments, look out the window, and mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. Or set aside Sundays for cleaning the flat so you’re ready to start the week afresh. 

Leaving the Flat Once in a While 

Make sure you take a break from your flat here and there. Since you’ll likely be spending more time there, the walls can very quickly start to feel like they’re closing in. My absolute favorite thing to do is go on evening walks down to East Sands while I admire the sunset and take a little breather. Try going on a walk once a day, and enjoy coming back ready to enjoy the warmth and coziness of your flat.

Making the most of life with all its quirks and sudden changes is the key to staying happy, in my opinion. Really, truly enjoying the little things in life, like a warm cup of tea, early morning sunlight, or fresh flowers, can help you fall back in love with your flat and in turn, accept this new normal that you have no choice but to adjust to. 

Eva Ferguson

St Andrews '22

I am a junior studying Social Anthropology and Art History at the University of St Andrews. Some of my passions include writing, classical music and traveling the world. When I'm not busy you can usually find me baking, walking in nature or finding yet another DIY project to tackle!
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