Living together ain't easy. Whether you share your space with a romantic partner or a platonic roommate, there are plenty of hurdles to overcome. And when those hurdles become mountains, you'll need to learn how to stay sane.
Here's a simple three-step plan that you can easily commit to memory. The next time you're overwhelmed and run to lock yourself in the bathroom for a moment away from the chaos, conjure up these three "counting" techniques:
1. Count to 10.
First things first, give yourself some space. If there's an argument brewing that you'd rather not start up, excuse yourself from the situation and count to 10, slowly. One, two, three... after 10 seconds alone, you're ready for step two.
2. Count your breaths.
Controlled breathing is proven to help you relax from a stressful situation. I'm drawn to equal breathing, a technique I learned from this Time article: "Inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four — all through the nose." Repeat for a few times (this is an art, not a science) and continue on to step three when you're ready.
3. Count your blessings.
By now, you're feeling pretty good, but to drive the calmness home, the final step is a mindful exercise. When the person you live with is driving you up a wall, try to remember the blessings they bring to your life. How they make you laugh or how they help you navigate tough work problems or how they're the best couch buddies for Bachelor night. Feel better now?
How do you stay sane when the people you live with drive you crazy?