It’s an unusual and anxious time right now for people all over the country. Schools are closed and many workers are being told to stay home as every effort is made to slow the spread of the coronavirus. We’re all doing our best to navigate this new normal, and we thought we’d share a few suggestions that might help make life in the era of social-distancing a little bit easier.
Even though we’re being asked to keep our physical distance from each other, all of us want to (and should!) stay connected to our friends and what’s going on in the outside world. You may be tempted to spend more time than usual on Instagram or Facebook in an attempt to feel a part of things, but it’s a good idea to limit your time on social media. Reading about what is fueling other people’s fear and anxiety isn’t going to be helpful, and instead is likely to make you feel more unsettled. Instead, choose just a few times each day to check your social media accounts, and instead of spending too much time mindlessly scrolling, set up a video-chat date with friends so that you can chat face-to-face! The connection you’ll feel if you’re able to laugh with people you love can really help ease some of the anxiety that we are all feeling now.
It’s also important to stay up-to-date on the latest news and events from around the world, but, as with social media, it’s smart to limit your time reading or listening to news, so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. And when you do decide to check the news, make sure you are reading or listening to a reliable source. The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, PBS, and NPR are all trusted, reliable news sources.
If you are one of the many people home with children who would normally be at school, one thing that can make your days run a little bit more smoothly than they might otherwise is implementing a schedule. Your day doesn’t need to be super-structured, but a sense of routine will help both you and the kids feel productive, and will help kids stay on task with any school work being sent home. Following a schedule at home — one that limits screen time and keeps everyone busy, both mentally and physically — will help maintain a sense of normalcy during an unsettling time, and will also help kids transition back to school when that time finally comes.
And while it’s important for kids to keep up with any homework they may be assigned, it’s equally important to try and ensure that your kids feel secure during this upheaval to their normal daily life. It’s OK to bend the rules — fun things like mid-week movie nights and occasional ice-cream-sundae dinners are encouraged! In the long run, your children will likely remember much more how they felt during this stay-at-home period of time than what they learned in their virtual math class, so don’t worry if you’re feeling like your homeschooling skills aren’t quite up to the task.
To help fill some of the hours at home, you can also check out some of the many museums and zoos that are offering free virtual online tours:
And when all else fails, get up and get out! Going outside and enjoying some fresh air, even if it’s just a walk around the block, will definitely help your mood while you’re spending your days at home. It’s also a great time to get a jump on your spring cleaning list and get your yard ready for warmer weather. Whether you’re outside exercising, relaxing, or doing chores, breathing fresh air and soaking up some sunshine can boost your immune system, energize you, and reduce stress and anxiety.
And above all else, remember to be patient with your family, and with yourself. It’s normal to be feeling anxious and scared with all of the uncertainties that lie ahead. Allow yourself some quiet time to cope with your feelings, and try to remember to focus on the positive. All of us at Burnett & Williams are hoping that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe during this unsettling time.