Sunday, May 3, 2020

Quarantine Isn't As Bad As I Expected It

It's not as bad as I expected it to be. If I'm being honest.

HOWEVER, I feel as though I had practice for this period of time under my belt, where most people wouldn't grasp it.

My water broke early with my son and I was bedridden in a hospital for a month before he was born. Then time in the NICU. Then we were home, but we were homebound for 10 weeks, only being allowed to go to the doctor's office and nowhere else. While my husband went back to work shortly after we came home, I was homebound with him. Kind of like right now. Homebound, just with all of them. Ha!

Here's a few things I'm doing to keep myself feeling good as well as my son feeling as though life hasn't been completely turned upside down.

1. A schedule.
I'm not talking every minute of every day schedule, but some consistency is huge for him. He starts the day coming into the kitchen to his whiteboard easel. He has a good morning message, just like he would in school, with the date, the weather, a basic schedule, and a short checklist of activities for the day. I usually leave 1-2 empty spots for him to choose activities to add to the list. Almost daily it's "watch a show" or "chase Jasper" so I help with picking reasonable options. Throughout the day, he gets to check off what we've done.

2. Get dressed every day. Everyone.
Staying in pajamas helps no one.

3. Make the beds every morning. Every. Morning. Even weekends. Because right now, is there really a difference between weekday and weekend?!

4. Pick one thing to clean every day.
No, I'm not saying wash the exterior windows. But some easy simple things so that my house doesn't turn into a disaster zone. One day I'll wash towels, one day I'll wash and change the sheets, one day I'll vacuum the first floor, and so on. Just ONE thing. And honestly, it makes me feel like I've gotten something accomplished besides keeping everyone alive, fed, and entertained.

5. Ignore the never-ending project list. Now is not the time for it.

6. Fresh air daily. Regardless if it's raining or snowing. Get. OUTSIDE.
Or just go for a drive. But LEAVE THE FOUR WALLS OF YOUR HOME.
Sit on a deck or balcony, go on your porch, drive around for 20 minutes, something, ANYthing.

7. Order take out once a week.
It supports local businesses plus it makes us feel like we're going out even though we aren't. We do it every Saturday night. We leave about an hour and half before dinner time, go for a drive or find a path to go for a walk, then call for takeout, go pick it up, and bring it home. We've actually been eating our take out dinner on our sun porch for a change in scenery. My son loves it!

8. Meal plan.
Sounds easier said than done, but it has drastically helped maximize the food consumption and lack of waste in our home. I use literally every last morsel of food from our fridge and pantry now and nothing is wasted.

9. Try new recipes.
I had apples and sour cream that needed to get used. Hello apple coffee cake. Which, by the way, you should check out that post because it's SO dang good.
I had ground beef to use and was craving ramen, so we tried it out. My husband loved it, I thought it was ok. Next time, more veggies and sauce, less beef.

10. Bake. With the entire family.
Yeah, you might end up gaining a few lbs because of it, but it's fun, it takes up time, it's a learning experience, and, let's face it, everyone loves a homemade baked good.

11. Utilize FaceTime and Zoom to see other people who you'd normally see on a regular basis.
Since you can't be face-to-face, it's a great way to SEE people and feel as though you're face-to-face.

12. Virtual play dates. I know that sounds and seems silly, but my 4-year-old thrives on them lately. I aim for at least one a week and I set it up with 1 or 2 friends and we actually have an activity for them to do so the kids SEEM like they're playing together when they're really still home but they FEEL together. Even something as simple as watercolors and blank paper.

13. Journal what is happening. Even if you haven't done this yet, start now. This is an unprecedented time and in 10, 20, even 30 years our children and next generation will want to know what it was like. We are literally living a historical moment right now. Even if you do one entry a week, it's worth taking a few minutes to jot down what is happening both inside your home and outside as well.

14. Family meals. At a table. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It's good for the soul And for the family.

15. Stop multi-tasking. Do one thing at a time.
This should be something we all use this time at home to practice and become a professional at.

16. Live in each moment and put the phone down.
Again, this should be something we all use this time at home to practice and become a professional at.

Some tips I've read from others that I think are worth trying:

- At 5:00pm light a candle to signal it's the end of the work day and to start full-on family time.

- Go to bed at 9:00pm to decompress, read, journal, reflect, and lights out at 10:00pm to ensure a full, good night's sleep.

- Unplug on the weekends.

- Have a fancy family meal every week. Use your china. Sit at your dining room table that you never use. Light candles while you eat. Even if it's pizza delivery.

Tell me, how is everyone doing in your home during quarantine?

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