It's a crazy time to be alive during lockdown so it's natural that everyone will be facing their own challenges at home. Being stressed and worried is all part of the process but it's nothing that you can't keep under wraps with small but effective actions. This list of tips and tricks to keep your whole family calm and happy during this unusual situation is the perfect way to start your self-care lockdown regime.
Stick To A Routine
Routines are important in all walks of life; they give you structure and purpose - something we will all certainly be needing in this time. While certain practices and rituals may have gone out the window this is a perfect time to start creating some new one. Make your own personalised family lockdown schedule that will ensure the whole family knows what they should be doing and when. Create a 'new normal' and have each day scheduled to help alleviate some stress and anxiety about finding things to do with your time.
Limit Your Screen Time
While social media is a wonderful resource, especially to keep in contact with friends and family outside the house, sometimes too much screen time can lead to information overloads or even excessive boredom. You mustn't become too reliant on your screens and explore some areas outside of the internet. How about implementing a Reading Hour into the household or even just some quiet time which require the whole family to sit together but immersed in their own activity. This way everyone gets to enjoy their own thing at the same time and you get to be together with low volumes and a calming atmosphere. If this appeals then maybe some chill arts and crafts with a small amount of background music will keep the screens away and bring the family together. There are lots of ways to have fun altogether that don't involve too much planning or kerfuffle. Another good alternative to watching TV is listening to podcasts. There are so many amazing resources for kids, teens and parents for engaging and enjoyable podcasts that you could listen to as a family.
Structure Your News Intake
Taking in news about coronavirus 24/7 can be extremely overwhelming. While there is some positive news circulating it is usually the negative stuff we hear on the radios and watch on the telly. It is important that you aren't overloading yourself with information all day. Try limiting yourself to an hour a day to listen to the news and keep yourself updated rather than having a constant stream of information coming through. This can also be a very stressful and confusing time for your children who may not be old enough to fully understand what is going on so there are some brilliant news resources that you can supply them with. Why not schedule news intake into your timetable and make it a family occasion - who says news always has to be boring and depressing?
Keep A Journal Or A Diary
A journal is the perfect stress-reliever. You can put all your thoughts and feelings down on a page and a weight will be lifted off your shoulders. While this doesn't always work for everyone it has been proven that keeping a diary or a journal helps you to control your emotions and can improve your mental health. This is another thing that you can turn into a family activity. Schedule yourself some diary writing time at the end of the day for the whole family to process their thoughts, feelings and emotions. If your little ones are confident with writing yet or find it more stressful than enjoyable, why not propose a picture journal. There is nothing that you can express in words that can't be drawn. You can even find templates for diary entries online that allow your kids to fill in so they have some prompts.
Try Some Meditation
Meditation is a really good way to relieve anxiety and it is effective for all ages. It is easy to do at home and it can help to improve mental health. Youtube is an amazing resource for free meditation videos that can work for you and the whole family - it may just take you a little while to find the right one. The same way that stress and anxiety are personal to every person, so are the methods to alleviate them so don't be disheartened if meditation doesn't work for you, it's not for everyone. Having said that, everything is worth a try and sometimes trying a few different videos may just be exactly what you need. Get the whole family together for some self-care meditation that you can do all together.
Hit The Mats With Some Family Yoga
Yoga is not only a fun form of exercise but also a great way to improve your mental health. Yoga often focuses on finding your centre of balance and focussing on your breathing techniques. You can find easy family yoga exercises that you can do at home that will not only ease your mind but will keep you active. Despite common misconceptions, you don't have to be unbelievably flexible to do it; everyone has to start somewhere so why not start today?
Get The Family Outside
On the topic of exercise, it is important that you and your family are getting outside for some fresh air and a good old fashioned walk. Vitamin D is not only important for your physical health but getting outside is extremely important for ensuring you are becoming too stir crazy inside. Keeping the family active and getting your daily dose of outside oxygen. Lots of Family Lockdown based groups and pages on Facebook are spreading lots of enjoyable ideas of ways to spend your outside hour which can include garden-based games or drawing obstacle courses in chalk on the pavement outside your house. Spruce up your active hour with a new thing every day and find fun and engaging ways to get your family moving.
Prioritise Family Meals
Family time is always extremely important but during the quarantine, it is more important than ever to schedule in specific times that your family should be spending together. Considering you are constantly around each other it is easy to slip into habits of isolating in separate rooms or doing your own things so family meals away from screens could be a vital step to keeping the family healthy and happy. Use this time as a processing session, to keep the conversation with family open and to ensure face-to-face communication isn't slipping while social media communication increase. Why not try getting the whole family involved in the cooking process too to get the most out of your family activities!
No Socks Time
We know it may sound bizarre but there is something really important about being connected to your own body. Taking your socks off is a really easy and effective way to do this. Have an hour a day where the whole family abandons their socks and ventures around the house (and maybe even in the garden) and takes in all the textures of the world around them. Feel the cold wood floors, the fluffy carpets or the soft fresh grass around your feet and in between your toes. You will be surprised how much better it could make you feel!
Make Your Weekends Feel Like The Weekend
It's easy for the days to all blend into one at the moment but it's really important to make the most of the weekend and take some time off. Pick an activity that you wouldn't have time for during the week, indulge in more cake than normal, make an effort to video chat with family and friends - whatever it is, just make sure you're spending quality time together.
Find Your Support
Everything is hard when you try to do it alone. It is important to keep the support systems around you that are there to help. Social media can be a really useful tool to keep in contact that people and groups that are there for you. Schedule moments to call the friends you need to speak to, to message the family outside of your home and to even scroll through your phone and find new and creative ideas from the other mums and dads posting. There are so many communities being created as a result of coronavirus and you are simply a click away from finding yours! Get online and have a look for the perfect group for you whether it's a Family Lockdown Page or a Top Tips for Mums you could find the perfect group of people to answer your questions or share your ideas with. What are you waiting for?
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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