For the next few weeks we are going to be faced with ourselves, our partners, children and homes without the punctuation of going to the office or having a social life.
During these times of enforced togetherness, we will all find where we are strong and where our lives and relationships need attention.
Making some mental preparations can get you ahead of some of the common problems. Keeping a focus on the big picture is key.
Be realistic about why you are doing this. It is to protect you and your loved ones. Reminding yourself of this when things get difficult will be important.
Yes, you will miss the "outs" which punctuate your day and offer natural decompression points.
It may be work, sport, coffee with the girls, the camaraderie at the school gates, the chats, the fun, but you will miss them.
On the plus side, you will value these moments and people in a new way in the future.
But you have a choice as to whether you take a positive or negative approach to the position you find yourself in.
You can look at all of the things you cannot do, the people you cannot see, the activities which are not available to you and you can remind yourself of how much you miss them. This will lower your mood as your thoughts will ramble towards the missing, longing and your helplessness to change the situation.
Or you may look at what you can do and what you do have and practise gratefulness for that, actively reminding yourself of how fortunate you are, compared with others. Write down a list of these things you are grateful for and use it as a reference on the lower days.
For some, being alone will be the challenge, for others it will be feeling crowded.
We often assume everyone has family or someone they can call or that they can rely upon - unfortunately this is not true.
Many people, young and old, live life in a very solitary way and can be very vulnerable when the casual connections of the day disappear.
In this context, we need to think of those who are separated, widowed, socially withdrawn or who you know suffer with depression or some mental illness.
The time of online connectedness can help everyone, with Facetime, Skype or Zoom. Help people set these up so they can connect easily. You can be a hero in their lives, the one who remembers them. It's just a phone call.
If you are living in a family or with your partner, this time will force you to have extended periods of time together which can put pressure on all relationships and, most especially, on those who already had some problems emerging or identified.
It isn't about loving each other or caring for each other that is in question, but being together all the time can make it difficult for you to maintain the boundaries that are there in a natural way when you come to and from your home.
You should make a plan for yourself and if you are at the head of the family help others to make plans about how they can use their time and structure the day. Consider looking at jobs which need to be done around the house. Explore the many ways you can give each other space and to take time apart from each other. Perhaps it is better to fend for oneself at breakfast and to have just one family meal together.
It is considerably more difficult to plan and structure and to keep motivation and mood in place when the time is unbounded.
That is why you must work at it. Subdivide the time into small pieces, a day at a time followed by a week at a time.