It was back in 2016 that I moved out of my house for further studies. I was living by myself for 4 years and 4 years is a long time to not just develop a habit but have a way of life too, right? I mean, on average, if it can take 66 days to form a habit, then 1,460 days (4 years) is more than enough time to develop a whole new lifestyle! And that’s what happened with me. Sure, I had a routine in place but considering I was living on my own, I was living on my own terms with nobody to question me. Until March of 2020. The month the Covid-19 virus had turned into a pandemic from an epidemic. And the best thing for everyone to do was to head back home to be with their families until everything had settled down. Safe to say, it’s May of 2021 and you know how things are going.

It’s 1 year, 2 months later and I’m still living with my family and while I am eternally grateful to be safe and sound with them, I do have a tiny bit to complain about. About changes in my lifestyle, which, for the most part, were uncomfortable but not too hard to un-learn given that that was not my first time living life sans those habits. So here I am listing them out for you and if reading this feels like I’m reading your mind, then I might just be!

7 habits I’ve had to change ever since the pandemic hit:

1. Late-night calls

Prior to 2016 when I used to live with my parents, I still would do late-night calls. But with lights off, sheets over and an effective method of whispering. Late-night calls and parents just don’t sit well now, do they, no matter what your age is? But circling back to my point, 2016-2020, I would not just have a whole bunch of late-night calls, I’d have my lights on, I’d talk loudly, I’d laugh loudly, but alas, that was short-lived!

2. Showering at any time of the day

Here’s the thing, it’s not like I used to shower at just about any time of the day anyway but I liked to know that that was an option. Without any questions and taunts. After moving back in with my parents, it now just feels illegal to shower at 12 PM in the afternoon or 1 AM in the night. Sure, my folks won’t exactly say anything but they’ll make the entire act of showering at hours considered odd according to them seem like something is really wrong with me. So the fixed timings are in the mornings before 10 AM or evenings between 7 PM – 8 PM.

3. Midnight snacking and binge eating

It’s unhealthy and all that I agree but sometimes snacking at odd hours of the night is the most comforting thing ever. When you’re sad and can’t sleep or you’re up watching your favourite show or movie, those yummy munchies only make everything 10x better! And of course, that’s not an option here and I don’t think I even need to talk about this anymore because I’m sure most of you will relate.

4. Maggi not being appropriate dinner

Before the pandemic, there was at least one dedicated night during the week reserved for Maggi as dinner. Safe to say, that used to be the happiest night of my life and somehow that would motivate me to exercise better. That Maggi night was like a reward for me. And no, that’s not the case back at home, not even for just one night because why do I want to have junk food as dinner when there’s fresh and healthy food cooked at home. Explaining the reward system seems like too much of a job and so I’ve decided to just let it go until the next time I’m able to have these nights.

5. Keeping my room messy

Having a messy room helped me feel more at home than having a neat and tidy one. It made me feel like it really is my space and I own it and I can do anything I want with and it gave me this sense of happiness. Being a creative person, that untidiness also helped me think of new ideas. But tell me, how can one justify this to their boomer parents who have, for all their lives, only had this one way of looking at their room—squeaky clean? Un-learning this habit was the hardest because making a mess isn’t a conscious decision but I have had to very actively ensure I keep my room tidy at all times.

6. Locking my room for too long

Why does she need to close her door? Why does she need to lock her door? What is she doing inside that she can’t do with her door open? Does she have a boyfriend? Is she doing drugs? The concept of privacy just never crosses their minds and while it’s kinda cute, it’s also hella annoying! So like me, how many of you aren’t allowed to lock your doors without a practical reason?

7. Masturbating loudly

What I’d give to be able to masturbate with all kinds of sounds and noises without having to worry about someone hearing me do the deed. It’s not something I have given up on though, merely adjusted my sound levels and timing!

Did you guys also move back in with your parents during the pandemic? How has it been different for you? Do tell me your stories in the comments below.

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