Lessons from Lockdown
It’s been a couple of months now since we’ve been on lockdown and if you’re cooped up with kids it’s a whole different ball game. You are probably spending your time trying to juggle homeschooling, working from home, personal responsibilities, and endlessly entertaining your children, in between worrying about your family’s health and the future. I know it’s been a lot! You may have lost your job or some portion of your income to make matters worse. Staying positive everyday may be challenging in this time. I wanna implore you for your mental and physical health to try staying positive. I wanna share some lessons I’ve learned from lockdown hoping that it will help you find the silver linings in these times too.
Family is Everything! Nothing matters as much as family in these times and at all times. As long as you and your family are safe and healthy that’s sort of all that matters.
Be in the present. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now, there’s a lot of unknown. Will I get my job back? Is the economy gonna collapse? When will my kids get to go back to school? Will we be able to make it with loss of money? Where can I buy toilet paper? When can I get my elective surgery? When can I travel again? So many what ifs, questions, unknowns, worries. But worry will not serve you in this time. Worry and stress damage your body and make you more susceptible to illness. Instead of worrying about the unknown BE IN THE PRESENT. Focus on right now, focus on yourself, focus on your children, be present with them and yourself in the here and now. This moment right now is all we really have and can be sure of.
Stay Positive. Staying positive is literally what has been keeping me afloat. It’s easier to do when you have a self care regimen. Make self care a top priority right now. This has been easier for me now more than ever since I have more time on my hands and less distractions. Some ways I stay positive and take care of myself are with daily exercise, reading, resting, getting outside in the sunshine, laying in my hammock, hiking, biking, praying, taking baths, and writing what I am thankful for in my gratitude journal. How are you taking care of yourself in these times?
Focus on your children. You probably are having more quality time with your children than you’ve ever had before. With the pause of the rat race and daily distractions you may be wondering how to spend all this newfound quality time with them (that will be in the next 2 posts). Focus on them right now. They are scared, worried, and hurting too right now. Their whole worlds got flipped upside down just as much as yours did. Play games with them, cook with them, garden with them, go on a hike together, go on a bike ride together, play a board game, create together, make art together, watch movies, cuddle up with a book, give them affection and hugs and reminders that it’s going to be ok. You don’t have to be the next best homeschool teacher just love on them. Use this time for bonding and doing all the things with them that you usually feel too busy to do.
Involvement goes a long way. You may have a tendency as a parent to take on things by yourself: cooking, cleaning, chores. I’ve found during this time that involvement goes a long way. Sometimes I just get in the mode of trying to get stuff done, but involving the kids actually makes things easier. We’ve taught our four year old how to vacuum and she loves it! Our ten year old is doing laundry and dishes which helps the whole team. Both of them love to help cook. Getting them in the kitchen with me provides me with support and company which I really appreciate. It also gives them that vital sense of participation which makes them feel proud of themselves.
Slow down! Slowing down has been the biggest silver lining in all this. Before this happened I have to say I felt like a snowball free falling down a snowy hillside. I was rolling quickly through life picking up high speeds and not paying attention to every single detail in my way- I was just getting through it. I would get up at 5am to fit in exercise, get my three kids ready for the day, be on teacher duties with up to twelve children a day, after pick up time I still had to cook and clean for my family. Most nights I didn’t leave the kitchen until 8:30/9 and then still had to shower and get a fussy baby into bed. By the time I hit the bed I was exhausted/ just wiped out. I’m sure many of you have similar stories about your fast paced lives. Lockdown has given me the time to slow down, do things without feeling rushed. I have been able to make my own schedule and free flow when we want to do things. Cooking has become a really enjoyable activity for me now that I’m not doing it after 9 hours of strenuous work. Reading has become something I do daily. I‘m finding more time to just hang and lay in my hammock. Playing tons of cards and board games with the kids which I never felt like I had time for before. Exercising happens multiple times a day, while I still like to do my routine in the AM, now we additionally are biking, hiking, or I ride my stationary bike throughout the day. Slowing down is not something I am accustomed to or even like but it has been the biggest gift through all of this.
Priorities. I don’t know about you but lockdown has really made me reassess my priorities. Things that seemed so important before seem unnecessary now. Health is really the most important thing we have. The well being of my family is all I really care about at this point. Staying positive and keeping my childrens spirits high has been my daily mission. Mental health and positivity go hand in hand. Everything else seems so minor at this point, and my priorities have really been put into perspective.
I hope everyone is staying positive, happy, healthy, & living their best lockdown lives! I encourage you to take a quiet moment today to reflect on the silver linings from lockdown. I think if you view this situation from a different lense you can be appreciative of some of the ways in which this situation has changed things in your life for the better.