In hope to defuse and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 or CoronaVirus a nationwide quarantine has driven people from all walks of life and around the world in isolation, en masse. Schools, Colleges have closed down. Work-from-home has become a mandate for almost all businesses and working people – barring the ones in public service and medical profession.
Groups to be restricted in efforts to social distance, which is the need of the hour, as it aims to help reduce the risk of being infected with the virus also help to contain those who are sick until they are well. Quarantining is wise for protection, but it does not have to be a time filled with fear. This can be a time of rest and real connection with your family while staying home.
Celebrities, Influencers and media around the globe are seen sharing messages on the importance of being united and staying #safe@home.
#WorkfromHome has literally taken on a new meaning, routines are disrupted and families are thrown into close quarters. Time to restart your life with your family…
Devise a family contract :
Discuss your challenges, take into account individual strengths and weakness, Set expectation about the quarantine and what role each person can play to make the family functioning better.
Be Truthful :
Listen as much as you speak, empathise with each other’s fears and be truthful about the situation, in an age-appropriate manner. Have conversations. Let the kids have some sense of responsibilities towards their personal hygiene. This way you can help each other allay any fears, reduce any possible stigma or embarrassment attached to self-isolation.
Set Routines :
Maintaining a routine which is important and not necessarily very strict. For kids who practicing e-learning, set a time frame to attend to their queries and help them with their studies. Will also assist the parents who working from home to handle the chaotic new situation and meet their own work deadlines, if any.
Parents can do a number of activities alongside their kids that facilitate active, engaged learning. For parents who need to work from home, take turns working and parenting.
- Reading interactively (not just at) with kids is beneficial for developing empathy, have a deeper impact in understanding the topic/subject, elicit empathy and much more.
- Cooking lessons can be a science lesson ( Does adding salt to boiling water cause eggs to float or sink?) and some maths ( like understanding that a half cup is more than a quarter cup) and maybe a reading lesson too (to know about new ingredients ‘baking soda vis-à-vis baking powder’). Strike up a guessing game to build your child’s critical thinking skills….
- Got a crafty skill – share the same with your family.
- Blogger/Vlogger – pick any topic – DIY to cooking to spirituality to fashion/beauty or simply a drama queen.
- Always though you had a novel in you ? Now’s the time to sit yourself down and get started.
- Creative Keda? Colouring in is very calming, frame your favourite piece!
- Board games, quizzes, or trivia games with the family makes for good quality entertainment for all age groups.
- Learn a new foreign language
- If the neighbours won’t complaint, maybe even dust down your musical instrument and practice.
- Dust out the old photo album or watch the old family videos…probably set u back in time with some some fond memories and make for a conversation starter.
When in physical isolation, stress can overwhelm you, so it becomes all the more relevant to maintain connection with your loved ones, friends and community.
- Set up video chat ‘play dates’ for your kids
- Get on the phone with friends and family who also in isolation
- Connect with your work colleagues – that way those working from home can stay busy and connected.
- Share posts/videos on your social on how to stay connected, you may inspire others to follow suit.
- Join a local community group on Facebook
- Play virtual games like chess, ludo, scrabble.
- Do not believe or spread rumours, share information only sent from reputable sources.
- Reduce exposure to news to 2 -3 times a day rather than being hooked on it.
- Stay positive, remember there is day after nightfall.
- Help those in your neighbourhood who may need your help, senior citizens staying alone at home, you could help them do their errands.
While you keeping busy doing the above,
- Do not forget about your own needs. Keep up with your meditation, yoga and exercise. WHO recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults and one hour a day for children.
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet, which helps your immune system to function properly.
- Limit your alcohol consumption, avoid smoking and sugary drinks, cold ones especially.
- Get some Vitamin D from the sun in the mornings – hot water and honey or just some good o’ chai in the balcony.
- If you feeling stressed, share your concerns with your family or a close friend – Talk.