Because of Covid-19, I ended up taking the decision of going back to Italy and live with my parents. I’m sure I’m not the only one who decided the to do the same and who is already regretting it. After 3 years of living on my own in a foreign country, going back to my parents’ house hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been easy going back to my parents’ house after living on my own in a foreign country for 3 years. Plus, we are still on lockdown, so I can’t leave the house too much and have some space for myself. In these weeks of close contact with them, though, I learnt some tips and tricks on how to make the coexistence a bit more bearable.

1. Take your space and time. Living alone is amazing. Alone you don’t have your mom screaming to you from the floor below that dinner is ready or that last night you’ve been up too long. Now, though, your parents are around all the time, just like when you were 16. It’s important to set boundaries, make sure they understand that you’re not 16 anymore. You need your alone-time and your precious space. I’m not saying avoid them at all times, but they need to get that you are used to living alone now, and they need to respect that.

2. Enjoy this time with your parents. This is very important because soon you’ll go back to living alone, maybe far away from them. You’ll regret not enjoying this time that you get to spend with them. Imagine, you have an entire life ahead to be alone and independent, but right now, you need to accept that you all live in the same house, again. They’re not the worst thing that could have happened to you. I’m sure they are happy to have you around.

3. Get closer with your siblings. If you don’t have a brother or sister than this point is not for you, but in case you do, find time to spend with them. They can be your new best friend and you can get closer. For example, maybe play video games together, or start a new series. There are many things you can do with them to get closer, after living apart. You can also just talk s**t about your parents and complain about the whole situation: at the end of the day, you guys are on the same boat.

4. Take as many walks as you can. The days are getting warmer and sunnier, so go outside and use this time to take long, lonely walks. Listen to a podcast or discover some new music; bring a new book to the park or simply enjoy the good weather. I personally love to go on long walks because, apart from using it as an excuse to do some exercise, it gives me time to think and be away from my family, for a little while. That’s always really nice, trust me. After a whole day of being in the same house or sitting at my desk, I really need to be outside.

5. Teach them your recipes and learn some new ones from them. I’m sure after living alone you have developed some decent recipes you like to make for yourself. Well, now it’s the right time to share them with your family. Maybe offer to cook dinner once a week or allow them to help you cook. That can be both a way to pass the time and to show them that you do have your s**t together and you are indeed able of feeding yourself when you’re alone. Or maybe the opposite situation is the case: while you were away, your dad or mom decided to become a quarantine chef and they can’t wait to show you their new skills!

6. Discover new activities to do with them. Just like at Christmas, it is time now to come up with family activities to pass the time and all be together. Apart from watching a movie or eating together, there are many other things you can do with your parents. Maybe some spring cleaning, or some other jobs around the house. You can also get creative with them: do some painting or transform some old t-shirts. You can always find some very cool ideas on the internet. I am sure your parents would appreciate you spending some quality time with them.

And that’s it from me. I hope reading this was helpful, it definitely helped me as a reminder that it is not that bad. Sure, losing your independence is hard and many fights might occur during your stay there, but hold on: things will go back to normal. Make the most out of the situation!