Move this to the top of the list to blog topics I never imagined writing. But, alas, here we are!
Like many of you, our family is not good with staying still for too long. And lately we haven’t been able to get through an entire dinner without endless bickering. Chalk that up to having teenagers and a sometimes crabby mom. Honestly, in the beginning the thought of being at home with my kids out of school for an extended period of time terrified me more than coronavirus itself. Now my mama bear instinct is kicking in and I want everyone to be home and safe. I am trying not to let the news get me down but I’ve realized a few times this week that I was feeling a little anxious. One thing that helps me with uncertainty is having a plan. I am by no means an expert, but here are five ideas I’ve been kicking around for keeping sane, healthy, and (dare I say it) happy during quarantine.
- Create A Plan For Consideration. // After yet another dinner full of endless bickering at dinner this week I went to bed thinking that if we are going to have a chance at surviving any amount of extended time together at home, we need to establish some rules for consideration. My plan is to begin our extended time together having everyone make one request that will be respected by everyone else. That could look like anything but it can only be one request per person. For me, it is not having to remind the kids to do their nightly chore. We’ll write them down and (hopefully) it can stave off a few arguments. Yes, I know, ambitious. I also think it’s our best shot at creating contentment. I know we won’t be perfect but there is some satisfaction in feeling like a complaint has been heard and is being respected by everyone around you that can make transgressions more tolerable.
- Continue With Routines. // I am a creature of habit and structure and routine is extremely important to feeling like myself. I want to continue with as much structure and routine as we possibly can. That looks like waking up close to our normal time on a weekday and starting our school and work days by 9am with a pre-designated ending time for play. One challenge with kids working from home on devices is going to be making sure they don’t get distracted by youtube or tik tok or that the usual procrastination doesn’t kick in. I am hoping that if we create an end time for our workday so we can schedule “play” time together that will create an incentive to be efficient and get our work done.
- Connect With Nature. // Sunshine is the best disinfectant and connecting with nature is one way to keep your spirits high. Luckily Mother Nature is showing us some grace and we have been enjoying some beautiful early spring temperatures. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the pleasant weather continues. To the extent we are able, I am planning on doing family activities that we normally don’t have time for like family hikes and picnic lunches in parks. We have miles of bike trails that we haven’t explored so it would be fun to replace these normally crazy sports and activity-filled spring afternoons with pursuits in nature. We have wide open spaces, balls, basketball hoops and soccer nets to get excess energy out.
- Keep Up With Good Habits. // I don’t want to let boredom and close proximity to the pantry interrupt healthy eating habits that I’ve spent months cultivating. Continuing with healthy eating habits will give me a sense of accomplishment and also keep me feeling as good as I can during challenging circumstances. That doesn’t mean being rigid about a diet but rather keeping up with 80-90 percent of good habits.
- Achieve A Sense Of Accomplishment. // Forced time at home is out of our control. One thing within our control is the ability to be productive with our time. If you’ve had a goal or an idea that you’ve wanted to get started on but hadn’t had the time–now is the time to start. Personally I have been wanting to make using headspace, a meditation app, a daily habit, but in practice I’ve been sporadic and inconsistent. If I can establish this good habit during our extended break I will feel a sense of accomplishment and maybe look back on it as the silver lining to uncertain and unfortunate circumstances.
- Create A Calendar Of Nightly Family Activity. // Variety is the spice of life. While family movies are something we love to do during winter storms we will need to change it up with other family activities to prevent boredom. Creating an expectation of something to look forward can generate some excitement and make the hours in between pass quickly. Having a family project in mind, like whipping up a dessert together, playing a favorite board game or card game, or s’mores in the fire pit, or working on a puzzle are some ideas to put on our nightly entertainment list.
- Prioritize Self Care. // Time alone is important too. When I begin to feel frustrated or annoyed reminding myself to have a time out is important. Taking a bath, reading, or meditating are just a few ways to reset your state of mind so you can come back and be the mom you want to be.
What are some ideas you are thinking of to stay entertained during a quarantine? Please share! We’ll just focus on our sanity one day at a time!
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