How I keep calm: family time

How have you been keeping calm during the pandemic? Carillon

Inspired by, How I Keep Calm is our new series featuring different ways students are finding peace and contentment during the COVID-19 pandemic

As the Winter 2020 term transitioned to online learning, I was concerned about how I was going to cope with the transition and stress of finals, along with the fact that my entire life was flipped upside down in literally a week.

I began to think about what I had to do for myself in order to continue focusing on school and maintain my physical and mental health. I came to the conclusion that the only way I was going to come out of quarantine with some peace of mind was if I packed up my life in Regina and moved back to my parents’ house in small-town Southern Manitoba.

That decision was not made lightly, as I was going to miss my friends and family, would no longer have access to Skip the Dishes, and was concerned about what life back under my parents’ roof was going to look like – but I decided to make the best of the situation and spend my months in quarantine making up for the time I missed with my family while I was away at university.

I am lucky enough to have the best little brother – even though he is twelve and uber annoying at times. As he has gotten older, we have gotten closer. He and I spend way too many nights playing cards and board games, learning TikTok dances, driving around screaming songs in the car, or driving an hour to the closest McDonald’s just because we need a change of scenery.

As I hang out with my brother more, I’ve come to realize that he’s not a baby anymore, and it is so nice to have a new best friend who I can rant to, laugh with, cry to, and everything in between. As much as he makes me crazy most days, I would not be able to manage this time in life without him.

I am also very lucky to have a mom who is absolutely amazing – without her I would be totally and completely lost. When I asked to come home in April, she was apprehensive because the COVID risk was higher if I came home from being in a city, but she knew that I needed my family and welcomed me with open arms, despite the stress it caused her. Throughout quarantine, she has kept me from going a little bit crazy at times. During finals, she would bring me snacks and make me laugh when I was overwhelmed with stress. During the summer, she was the best pool and tanning partner I could ever ask for.

Through these last few months, she has been a rock in my life, and I am so grateful for that. From the afternoon talks about politics to the evening talks about Cardi B, to the hours spent in bed watching The Real Housewives of “Somewhere;” she made the days fly by. She is the most supportive person and always has my back. Without her, quarantine would really suck.

I have always been very close with my family, but I lacked an appreciation for each individual. Through quarantine I have gained a new perspective – sometimes, family really is all you need.

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