In normal circumstances, it’s hard to argue that there is something wonderful about those rare days at home, where you can get up late, stay in your pyjamas and sit around the house without any major commitments to worry about.
However, when we are all in lockdown at home everyday finding a routine can be really important for our wellbeing and mental health. It can give us a sense of normality, there is something about the mundane tasks for getting up, washed and getting dressed that sets us up well. It gives us the expectation that the day will be productive and active.
Make a Schedule for you and the family
This can be specific or flexible, depending on you and your family. Having an outline of what your day looks like can make a huge difference and give you that purpose. If you work from home, let your kids know when it is time dedicated to your work and when you will be available wholly for them.
If you are working from home, find yourself a dedicated workspace, this will help you to separate work from family life. Closing the door on your workspace ensures there is a line between work and family. It will help your focus for your work but also allow you to close work and dedicate time to your family.
We all know exercise is good for us, it can improve mood and decrease anxiety, it can lift our energy levels and also help lead towards a better night’s sleep. It doesn’t mean we have to go do some gruelling workout that we are seeing popping up on our Instagram feed constantly at the moment. Think of something fun, put the radio on and dance around the kitchen with the kids. Create a little assault course around the house and garden, that you can all take part in. Or just keep enjoying that precious hour of exercise out walking enjoying where you live. Do a bit of both. Of course, if you want to start a new regime do so with care and build up at a pace your body can adapt. This is not the time to be pushing ourselves hard when there are no therapists available for treatment.
Limit Screen Time
This is something that we get told a lot. It is great we can communicate via video call etc during this time to stay connected, and really important we do. But could we cut down on gaming, browsing social media, browsing the news. How about dusting off those board games or cards and teaching the kids or having a games evening with your partner, they will appreciate the time together too. Is there any new hobbies or old hobbies you could try? A bit old school but the kids and I have been having fun tie-dying t-shirts and generally any white material we can get our hands on in the house.
Have meals at the table
Eating together, (whether you have a table or not), is a great way to have some quality time, distraction free to listen and talk. Especially now while we have such limited connection having these moments are important for us all, it helps builds emotional connection. Could have a bit of fun, how about a living room picnic on the living room floor, or out in the garden
Have some fun
I have found personally and with the kids, they are find the weekends boring as they have been home all week, but fairly busy with their school or our work schedules, but come the weekend, I can feel they need a change of scenery/environment. I am trying to think of things to make weekends feel different. We have been camping in the garden, picnicking in the garden and house, having barbecue’s, toasting marshmallows, spending a bit of time with them playing games, skipping, kicking a football etc. Video calling friends and family, playing charades over video call, baking, getting them to cook dinner for us. I love looking forward to Friday night video call drinks with the girls and this has become our routine.
It isn’t always easy, but I know that everyone is doing amazingly, and as the days and weeks go on and this becomes more ‘normal’. Try and have some structured days so everyone know where they are and what they are doing and I really can’t wait to see you all.