Social distancing and finding a way to navigate this shelter-in-place world is something that’s on all of our minds. Working from home, is definitely not new. It’s something I’ve personally done for the past 7 years but this is a heck of a lot different. Having to be home and literally do life 24/7 from inside your home is brand new for me as it is for a lot of people. So we are all here in the same boat and we’re looking for solutions. Here’s a few things that have helped us not just get through but reduce stress and really start to enjoy our time together as we deal with social distancing and being quarantined as a family.
Limiting our news intake - I’m not saying shut it out but no news first thing in the morning or before we go to bed. Its understandable to want to check into what’s happening in the community right now. So I give myself 20 mins to stay updated and check in on the news cycle. Maybe do this mid-day, during lunch, but make sure to set a timer so you don’t get lost down the rabbit hole of negative news. Make sure to get information directly from the source. CDC is a great place for updates.
Designating time for work, family, play - We don’t have to be as married to our schedules as maybe we did B.C. (before COVID-19) but still having a schedule for morning/evening routines, work and school, and play will allow you to get what you need to get done and have time for your family. Giving yourself 2 hours of work and 1-2 hours of school work for your kids should keep everyone on track.
Personal Space - Having everyone in the house at the same time might feel a little cramped and like you’re on top of each other. We’ve taken to creating a personal spot for each member of the family. Having a little spot in the house, a corner, a room or even a chair makes us feel like we have a place to go somewhere on our own….. Have fun with it…kids will enjoy making their own forts with pillows and sheets. Notice they might even decorate it with toys and books. If you have multiple kids this will also help keep the sibling bickering at a minimum.
Teaching the Kids (of all ages) - The key here is have a little fun with your kids curriculum and mix in some of the things that they are most interested in as best you can. Our little guy is 4 and just getting started in preschool so there’s the typical working on words and numbers, puzzles etc. but along side that we’re implementing a few different more interactive schools, cooking school, sports school (soccer, baseball, basketball, yoga), drone school, music school. If your son is into break dancing try having them teach you some of their latest moves. If your daughter loves science, look up some experiments you can do together at home.
Staying active - Getting in our workouts at home presented as a challenge at first. More a motivation challenge, but the thing you least want to do is the thing you most need to do. So I looked up my favorite workout and took to the backyard. There are a ton of at home workout apps and now with public spaces being off limits, your usual gyms are live streaming their sessions. You can find anything from kickboxing to yoga all from home, and most are offering them for free. My fave for yoga is down dog.
Get fresh air - We don’t need to actually lock ourselves in doors. You definitely want to make sure you’re getting your daily dose of vitamin-C if its in your own back yard, or front porch. Just go outside at least 1-2 times a day. If you have a dog you’re probably still taking your pup for their walks. If you don’t you could still go on a walk. This is great for your kids to get a chance to stretch their legs as well and get some energy out. Just stay away from people.
Practice 10mins of mindfulness - This is a big one and one that I practice even before this craziness. Meditation is a major stress and anxiety reliever. This is a lot easier than a lot of people think. Simply sit upright in a comfy chair or spot on your couch and have the room quiet. Close your eyes and breath. Your mind is probably going to start rattling off random thoughts. That’s ok. Just sit and breathe in and out. Whatever thoughts come, let them come, but don’t linger in them. Just breathe and listen to your breath. Feel whats happening in your body and try to envision the air from your breath traveling through the body. You can imagine inhaling the peace, joy and exhaling stress, worry and anxiety. it might feel weird at first but this is very effective and will get easier the more you do it. Just like anything else. Anyone can do this and what a great habit to start doing together as a family.
Date Night - I know, not having a date night in our house is not an option. Date night is where my husband and I re-connect and remember why we fell in love with one another. It literally resets us from the stress put on our relationship during the week. So this was a must to figure out. The idea is to get dressed up and talk over a glass of wine and a romantic home cooked dinner. Making sure the kids are asleep and adding some ambiance with lit candles and music can make it really feel special.
Social with friends - You can still talk on the phone of course. Check in with family and friends. Hearing a familiar voice over the phone can definitely be confronting in times like these. Just know you’re audience. Keep the calls to people that bring you joy and positivity. If you’re the party planning type or just love your friends and are in a dire need to get together, with apps like Skype, Zoom etc you can do social paint nights, grab coffee together or a glass of wine all through video chat. Netflix is doing social movie night meet up online as well. But here’s a tip watch comedies!
Learn how to Play offline - Think about it everyone is home and doing everything online all at once. That’s a lot of stain on the internet. Let’s pray that it can handle the influx of people, but just in case take some time offline during your day. Play cards, charades, listen to music, put together a vision boards for life after COVID-19. Indoor Games for kids by age.
Prayer - Read the Bible - There’s a lot going on, but no matter what I know God’s got us. He will always be there for us and he reminds of this through his word. Getting this on a daily basis only makes us feel stronger and hopeful during these tough times. With Him we will come through this.
It may feel like we’re living in a state of uncertainty but there’s still so much we have that we must not loose sight of. We’re not sure how long things will be this way. Letting ourselves get wrapped up in the stress and anxiety will not make this time go by faster. There’s nothing that we can do but live our life to the best of our abilities. This is an experience that we’re all going through together. A sacrifice that in the end will help save lives and get us humans back to thriving in the world. But sacrifice doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Hopefully with these tips your time spent quarantined will be a little easier. We’re willing to be a resource and a place of connection for whomever needs it. Please share with someone who could use this. Leave a comment or tell us something that you’re doing to help go through this. We’d love to hear from you!