Your kids are out of school and you’re working from home. This is the type of situation that, as a parent, I AVOID! Yet, here we are. To all the parents who are in quarantine or practicing social distancing: You got this. Many of you are staying home and thinking about keeping your kids and your family safe and sane. Just remember, we’re all in this together—one big world family.
We sourced some top tips about how to cope with suddenly being housebound for weeks from parents in our social media community. Here are some parenting strategies for staying sane and healthy during this global pandemic.
Keep Up Your Healthy Habits
This should be the obvious one, but when stress is knocking at your door every hour it can be easy to forget how to do it. The name of the game is keeping stress at bay and supporting immunity like you’ve never supported immunity before.
- Make sure to get plenty of rest and go to bed on time.
- Eat nutritious foods. Even though those potato chips are calling your name, try not to cave more than once a day.
- Disinfect bathrooms, door handles, and surfaces daily. It doesn’t have to be drudgery—think Mary Poppins: breezy yet thorough.
- Drink lots of water. Time has slowed down at my house, and so has water intake. I remind everyone every hour. For anyone who needs to hear this: Coffee isn’t water.
- If you can stay 6 feet away from other people, as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, go outside once a day for fresh air and vitamin D.
Maintain a Schedule
When things are topsy-turvy, schedules are often the first to go. But schedules help kids (and adults) feel safe and secure. To maintain some sort of normalcy, I wrote down the daily schedule I have at my office (including my tea breaks) and combined it with the daily schedule my kid has at school. I taped our combined schedule up in the kitchen and about every 30 minutes I go see what’s next and let my kid know. This has felt like a lifeline for me.
Make Time to Exercise
Built into my daily schedule is some form of movement. I’m taking it easy on myself. If a full jog is not in the cards, I know I have options like a family yoga video on YouTube, a 15–minute dance party, or even just a stretching session. Move your coffee table out of the way and dust off those old phys ed games like Hey Mr. Fox What Time is It? or Cross the Ocean or Red Light/Green Light. They’ll get your heart rate up and watching you get silly will help reassure your kids that you’re handling things
Make Time for Quiet and Rest
My kid is almost out of the napping phase, but I am adamant that during a certain time of every day, we are all quiet and resting. This is a no–screen time, but books, quiet coloring, meditation, or sleeping are allowed. Rest will give your body and mind time to regulate extra stress and it will ground you. In a crowded house, it also can give permission to introverted family members to take time to soothe themselves.
Keep Your House Clean–ish
With everyone cooped up, a messy house can happen with lightning speed. But many hands make light work, and we are making small tidying efforts several times a day. Doing it more often means it’s not as hard. It doesn’t have to be painful or perfect; the added stress of living in a huge mess, however, IS painful. Kids clean up at school, and it shouldn’t be any different at home, right? (LOL) Make it fun! It’s a great time to teach kids about respecting one another’s space and taking care of their things. However, if you don’t get to it every day, don’t beat yourself up. Real talk: You’re doing the best you can.
Keep in Touch
Don’t forget that just because you are practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with family, friends, and loved ones. We are setting up brief digital playdates with school friends during the week, which can be done on FaceTime or Skype or Google Hangouts—all of which are free and easy to use anywhere. Make sure to call family members who live far away, too. Let people know how long you have, so you can be present and enjoy their company and also stick to your new routine.
Reactions to this pandemic will vary even within a family, and everyone will cope with social distancing in their own way. If you’re acting with love and staying informed, you’re doing it right. Stay present, be healthy, treat others with kindness, and keep in touch. From all of us at Mommy’s Bliss, be well.