#StayHome is what we need to do today. This is currently our control zone, so once we know WHAT to do, we need to work out HOW to do that. Staying home for a long time with limited social interactions and away from everyday activities may be a real challenge. Switching within a day to simultaneously perform roles of a parent, chef, educator and employee is very difficult, so let’s take a look how to go through this demanding period.
Here are some general tips to find your way through this special time and make the best of it for yourself and your family. Note: the best is NOT the most in terms of productivity, perfection or creativity. Take care of yourself to be able to take care of the others.
For yourself, your family and relatives. It is a challenge for all of us and it is normal that we encounter difficult emotions, tough moments and fears. Do not expect yourself to be perfectly productive, strong or organized. Set yourself reasonable goals to be active within your comfort zone. Self-care today is more important than following tight schedules.
Remember that everyone can adapt differently to new situations – it may require different amount of time and different measures to accept new order and find one’s place in it. We may also express our anxiety in different manners, not all of them may seem obvious for the environment. Excessive laughter, compulsive cleaning, feeling overexcited or weakened, overeating or skipping meals – all unusual behaviours may cover feelings that need to be taken care of. Search in yourself and search around yourself – be cautious not supress feelings by controlling difficult behaviours. Make sure to give children and yourself a space to talk. Find ways that help everyone to decompress, it may make tension go away by itself.
Do not spend all your free time following the latest news, it does not bring anything more than raising your tension. Once or twice a day give yourself time to check the news, get informed in reliable sources and give yourself some time to digest it. Observe the emotions it evokes in you and acknowledge them, let them resound, discuss with close adult if you feel the need. Accept the feelings and instead of fighting them, use this energy to focus on your plans for the day. Remember we all face whole spectrum of feelings and though some are more pleasant than others, all can work to our benefit.
Recognize your boundaries and communicate them when you are still in comfort zone, being able to say No with confidence, but without shaming others. It will make things much easier for all of you and will keep the atmosphere fresh. Let kids also communicate their feelings and boundaries and provide emphatic reply whenever possible. Remember that hearing and understanding others does not mean agreeing for all their demands. Being seen and heard are kids basic needs and once they feel understood they are more open to accept parents replies, whether positive or not.
Refer to your core values, find for yourself meaning in this situation and use it as a support. Kids learn by observing us and this may be the most important lesson on self-responsibility and solidarity they received so far. Remember to stay focused on the priorities, give up the things you cannot influence anyway and use your energy in a productive way. Use your previous experiences to draw most helpful strategies that helped you overcome challenges in the past. Remember that expressing gratitude reduces stress, increases optimism, and influences your perception. It is also helpful in appreciating what and who we have around us, so now it may be more vital practicing it than ever.
This article originally appeared here – on Kids in the City: