Now that we've been staying at home, there is a whole new “normal” we are having to adjust to, as individuals, parents, and families. In nearly every conversation I have had with people, reports are it has been a mixed bag.
The ability to let go of schedules and have a lot of together time, for many, has proven to be a positive part of the stay at home mandates. Having the time now to connect with each other, to play and talk and make dinners together, to have friendly competitions around the house has been nice for many families.
However, the feeling of isolation is real, and one that could increase as, at present, the mandate to stay at home has no real end in sight.
So, what can we do?
We need to find creative ways to connect both inside our homes, and to our remote community members and family. In that light, I have created a list of some fun ideas on how to connect with friends, family, and for all of us to be able to connect with the elderly population in our families without putting their health at risk.
Setting up a schedule: One of the things I have personally found helpful, is creating a “schedule” for any given day. This helps create structure and can ease the anxiety about "what am I going to do today?"
Coffee/Chat time - connect with friends and family to check in. Good way to start the day feeling connected.
Activity - exercise or go out and walk the dogs.
Work/School - catch up on emails, connect with long lost friends, work on learning something new.
Quiet/Alone time - Free time separate from everyone else.
Social hour - FaceTime with family or friends.
Create a fun goal: Time to take up Spanish, or history, or math. What have you been wanting to learn for awhile now that you just haven’t found time to do. It’s important to keep your mind challenged and working to its full potential. Even working on the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, could take a week to complete;-)
Childhood game time: Remember the days of hide and seek, scavenger hunts, tag? Of guessing how many jelly beans were in a jar, or creating an obstacle course in your backyard? Charades!
Talent Shows: This is a great time to support your talents. Whether you play an instrument, dance, do art, write, juggle, tricks on a skateboard...you name it. Fun to get together as a whole family and perform your talent, your kids might learn something they didn’t know about you and you might learn something you didn’t know about them:). My sister even had all the grandparents FaceTime for a recital from her son. Was a great way to connect with the more at risk population.
Scavenger hunts with extended family or neighbors via FaceTime. Go online (Pinterest is a good source for lists) for a good list of items. Send to whomever you want to play against, and then, as a family, go and get the things from the list. Whoever is back to the computer, or phone first wins:)
These are all great activities to engage in right now. These games light up happy parts of our brain and are great ways to belly laugh, and just feel genuine joy.
We are all a part of history right now. This will end up in a history book, and we can mark our time in it by journaling, drawing, painting, collaging. Again, individually or as a family.
At the end of this (and there will be an end to it) when our lives return to “normal”, this will be a sliver in time that we can see as a gift in which we were able to get quality time together with people we love. A time to return to a slower pace in life, to actually have time to breathe and engage fully with one another without the pressure of limited time and conflicting schedules. I encourage you to take advantage of that opportunity.
I am here as support however you need it, even just as a resource or a friendly hello and a reminder that “YOU GOT THIS!”
Be well and take care!