Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many individuals and families are now finding themselves dealing with a whole new way of living in social isolation due to work being moved home and/ or schools closing. During these uncertain times, taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically is more important than ever!
Here are ten tips to help you navigate these challenging times.
Create a routine
Having a few “vacation days” from the norm can be enjoyable at first. Use the time to let yourself or your children enjoy sleeping in, wearing pajamas all day, watching movies or playing video or board games.
However, having a routine reduces stress on yourself and children. Lay our clothes and prepare meals for the next day. Establish hours for educational time as well as chores if your children are old enough. The more like “normal” this time feels, the easier it will be on all.
Be careful of what your kids overhear
Kids often pick up more adult conversation than you realize. You may want to save turning on the news until after they go to bed and limit the adult conversation they are exposed to regarding the coronavirus.
They may be too old for you to completely shield them from it, however. Just because they don’t ask you about it, doesn’t mean they aren’t internalizing some fear. Have conversations with your child as appropriate and let them ask questions. It may be a good time to have important science lessons with younger children about germs and how to prevent illnesses.
Accomplish something new
Now may be a great time to find some video tutorials and learn a new skill or hobby. Try a new workout, write the book you’ve always planned to but never find time for, learn a new instrument, or master a new recipe. You may even wish to include your children in learning a new skill you haven’t found the time for amidst a busy schedule.
Make a simple, flexible meal plan
To keep the spread of coronavirus to a minimum, it is best to limit your grocery trips as much as possible. Yet, many individuals are finding it difficult to find some basic necessities, finding availability for grocery pick up, and having to shop multiple stores.
To keep your shopping as simple as possible, make a list of basic but healthy meals and a list of needed ingredients. Attempt to buy the ingredients as you find them and rotate through this meal plan.
Now is also a great time to reach out to friends and neighbors that may have farm-fresh produce and meat. We are fortunate to be in an area where we have an abundance of possibilities!
Form a strategy for working efficiently
Parents that work from home regularly love the extra time with their children. However, working from home has its challenges and disadvantages. To be successful, it takes a lot of flexibility on the part of the employee and employer as well as time management strategies. Some parents get up before their children and work an hour or two. Some work an hour or two after bed.
Prepping the night before helps as well. Prep snacks, meals and sippy cups. This includes your own drinks and snacks.
Plan a fun activity for small children and rotate toys to maximize playtime.
Remember that the outdoors are not canceled
Some fresh air, sunshine, and activity does the body good! Just because you shouldn’t be in large groups of people right now, doesn’t mean you can’t be outside. Play in your yard if you have a nice area to do so, or plan an outing with your family. Now may be a great time to discover a new park or take advantage of a nice spring day and visit the wildlife refuge.
Give each other space when necessary
Constantly being together has its challenges. Create boundaries to ensure everyone gets the peace and quiet they need. You could create a fun space for children with bean bags, or other alternative seating or even make a tent with blankets. Set aside an hour a day where everyone reads or listens to music in their rooms.
Parents, find some time to unwind and enjoy the quiet alone after kids go to bed. You deserve it!
Not only is it a good idea to sanitize to ward off illness, but decluttering is a great way to improve your mood. Psychologists say it is even important for your mental health. Now may be a great time to straighten up the garage, organize your home office, or accomplish whatever other cleaning task that always gets put off. You never know what items you are ready to get rid of that someone needs during this time.
Find your outlet
There are many ways to help yourself combat all the emotions in these times of uncertainty.
Journaling is a great outlet that boosts your mood.
Exercising is another mood booster which you should be doing anyway to stay healthy!
Doing something kind for others is also an excellent way to put a positive spin on the situation.
Offer to pick up groceries and other necessities for an elderly neighbor or make cards for elderly patients quarantined in local nursing facilities. Help stock a local food pantry since many children are unable to get a needed meal at school at this time.
Keep in touch with friends and family
Although it isn’t the same as a good old fashioned gettogether, technology does help when we are in isolation away from dear friends and family members. Social media, emails, texts and FaceTime make it easier for keeping up with those we care about.
Check out how we are working to keep our community safe here: ccmhhealth.com/coronavirus-annoucement.
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