Regardless if you’re living with your best friend or with your family, this much time at home with the same people may cause some tension.  

These situations and this past year have been stressful.  

If you find yourself feeling stressed or tense with your roommate, try these strategies for reducing stress, increasing communication and finding acceptance in our current situation.  

1. Embrace the fact that you’re on a “team” before an argument occurs 

Hey now, you all want the same thing. To feel safe, comfortable and at peace while you’re at home. This means, you have the same goal and you’re on the same team. If you find yourself starting to get annoyed or stressed at little things that normally wouldn’t bother you, just remember you both want to feel like your living space is a safe place.  

2. Talk about ways to maximize your time and space  

Consider making a schedule for quiet time, chores, and cooking. This can help everyone feel like they have the space and independence to get their homework, relaxing time and online lectures done. A schedule could live on the kitchen fridge, your phone, or on a whiteboard hung up in the house. 

3. If an issue does arise, speak directly and clearly  

You’re spending a lot of time at home, studying, working and being with your roommates. Tensions and disagreements may arise, and that’s okay.  

Disagreements aren’t always bad, but it’s how we handle them that matters. Think about what you want to say and what your end goal is before you speak with your roommate. Once you know what you “want” from your roommate, try phrasing it as a question instead of a demand. “Hey can you turn down the music after 10pm?” Instead of “Stop being so loud every night.”  

4. If you’re overwhelmed and have tried everything, Wellness USF can help  

If you’ve tried everything above and you’re still feeling stressed, that’s okay, it may be time to get an outside perspective. Wellness USF offers a lot of different resources to help you feel well and de-stress.  

Try signing up for Togetherall, an anonymous online mental health community that is free for all USF students. Connect with others who understand what you’re going through.  

You can also attend a Counseling Center Drop-In group to share your experiences and listen to others. Success and Wellness Coaching can help you create an action plan to deal with time and stress management.