Updated: Apr 7
I'm in Santa Clara County, California. Our state's original epicenter for coronavirus outbreaks before LA county, if you didn't already know. We were the first in the nation to implement a shelter in place order. First, the schools closed and then days later non-essential work was prohibited. At the time I write this post we've been stuck indoors for 3 weeks, with another month ahead of us before we have hope of the world reopening and to have a chance at going back to our normal lives...or our new normal, whatever that may be.
I wanted to share with you what my family has been doing to stay sane while we are stuck in our home. There have been a few things I am raving about currently and then... some things to rant about but I'll hold off on the latter.
Facebook Messenger Kids App
I recently created an account for my kids on the Facebook Messenger Kids App so they could video chat with their cousins. I downloaded it to the tablet which the kids had taken over anyways to watch YouTube on. I love this tool because I'll be lying down for a break and I'll hear my kids in the next room chatting with their cousin. They can play games, send messages, video chat-it's a great app for them to connect with their family. And better than my phone being taken over!
Writing Snail Mail
I've been having my kids write letters to mail out to family and friends. It's part of their school day as it has them practice penmanship, spelling, and learning a practical skill of addressing a letter and sending it off. I hope that it spreads joy to the receivers of the letters and even better if they respond!
Send birthday cards or letters to those who are stuck inside for their birthday. It could help cheer them up! I just celebrated my birthday under quarantine and it was a tad bit of a bummer to not be able to get out of the house. Imagine kids who won't be a be to celebrate their birthdays with family and friends.
We picked up this wax stamp press from Walmart and fun colored envelopes to make them more snazzy.
Binging Netflix is fun and all, but it doesn't feed your mind..Unless you are one of those geniuses that hop online and made those hilarious memes. Tiger King provided great material*
You need something you can pick up and feed your mind. Whether you're a self help fiend or fiction fan, pick up a couple books for your time home and when you feel bored or find yourself needing some mental stimuli, reach for one!
Especially helpful if you have a gamer husband. You both can hang out together without bothering each other
Watching My Seedlings Grow
I started my seeds for my garden about a month prior to this crazy time and planted even more once the stay home orders were placed. Having a "job" to do everyday of watering the seeds and taking care of them, making sure I transplant to bigger containers when the plants grow out of their first pot has been really helpful and enjoyable. Who doesn't like to watch something grow?? Very satisfying!
My kids and I have been keeping a journal of this time. Mainly, to check ourselves with how we're feeling and express ourselves. This is a stressful time with fear around the pandemic and frustration around distance learning and not to mention anxiety and cabin fever from our normal lives being disrupted so abruptly.
I have my kids write a page a day of anything they want. It's usually how their day is going, whether I've been mean or not, etc. And I write in my journal throughout the day. One day we can look back and read how we handled this situation but for now, it helps me get my feelings out on paper so I don't sit with it inside me.
Turn Off the News
For obvious reasons-it fills your mind with fear. It's been helpful for me etc. read the recap of what's happened at the end of the day. It HAS NOT been helpful to sit in front of the tv and listen all day long to people talk update the numbers and talk about how many people have died and how fast it's spreading and who might be more susceptible and on and on and on.
But on top of that, it seems opinions differ and change every day on this thing. Doctors and officials throw out different numbers and suggestions. It's just easier to shut it off and catch the daily takeaway at the end of the day.
Consume Positive Material
Find someone who is sharing positive messages out there. Not the politics, not the coronavirus coverage, but people who want to keep others motivated and inspired during this time. It could be a podcast Check out the Turks and Chaos Podcast here. It could be someone on Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube who hops on LIVE and shares something funny or encouraging. It could be your church, the bible, a good show. Just find the good stuff to consume and less of the negative.
Get your body moving everyday. You don't want to come out on the other side of this 10 pounds heavier. So to help get your blood pumping and endorphins flowing, get moving. It could be a walk around the neighborhood or a home workout on YouTube. Here are some of my favorites that I enjoy doing by myself and some with my kids:
Daily To-Do List
When you wake up, write out a to-do list to stay productive during this time. You can write down simple tasks like shower, change clothes. You can write chores or projects. Keep busy around the house and cross off what you accomplish. You'll feel good about the little wins in your day and the visual will be an added reinforcement.
Get to bed at a decent hour each night and set your alarm so you don't sleep away your whole day. The first week of staying at home I stayed up way to late and slept in til a completely unacceptable hour. W\hen you wake up late, it throws off your whole day. I'm still sleeping in an hour later than I typically wake up, but I'm not sleeping in until 10!
Prioritizing sleep and waking up recharged is excellent for your immune system. Over sleeping can actually make you feel more groggy. So get to bed early and wake up while it's still morning. You can take a nap later! ;)
Relax and Enjoy!
Enjoy this time of empty calendars and the opportunity to spend quality time with your kids and hubby. Take this time to join an online course or to bake your own bread. Take time to reassess your goals and make a vision board. Take a relaxing bath every night if you please, or an afternoon nap. Tackle that closet or drawer that desperately needs some attention. However you choose to spend this time, make sure you find ways to enjoy it and relax when you need to. It's okay for days to go slow during this time. The whole world is on pause right now. You won't miss anything.
I played mancala for the first time in a decade this past week. I wrote letters to family. I built a robot with my oldest. I found a massive lemon on our family walk. I put the tent up in our living room and camped indoors. And I've read so many story books to my kids. I have had a lot of fun during this time.
Don't forget to play!
I know this pandemic has been stressful and scary for everyone. I pray for your family's safety, health, and comfort during this time. God Bless.