11 Tips To Help You Stay Sane During The Lockdown
The covid-19 virus took us all by storm and there’s no doubt that it has had a huge impact not only on our individual lives, but our kids’ lives and our country’s economy as well. There is chaos all around us as working moms suddenly have to adapt their lives to work at home, small businesses try come up with creative ideas on how to keep their businesses afloat and normal schools suddenly have to find new and innovative ways to continue teaching their learners virtually. BUT, I personally do believe that there is always that silver lining – something positive to learn from every negative event, and I do believe that maybe, just maybe the chaos we are currently experiencing is there to teach us how to LIVE again! To quiet out the noise and slow down the pace, because lets be honest, when last did you take the time to really LIVE and appreciate the little things! I, however know that change could feel a little overwhelming so I decided to give you 10 tips that could potentially make this change a little easier.
Our lockdown starts at 00;00 tonight so here is 10 tips to help you stay sane throughout it all. Remember we CHOOSE what we want to make of this situation:
1. Get organized
I don’t know about you, but I can’t function in chaos. So, in order to make the most of the next 21 days I decided to get my house and surroundings organized. I set up a little play nook for Aryan next to my workstation and sorted all of his toys into categories and toy boxes, eg. Play animals together, arts and crafts together, puzzles together, etc. I used the first day to deep clean my house, and also set up a little play office for Aryan next to me. This way I can keep a close watch on him, while he does his activities and I get a little work time in. I also know that a lot of kids are doing virtual homeschooling in the meantime, so why not set up a small study nook close to you.
2. Create a schedule
Children thrive in routine since they know what to expect and this makes them feel safe. A schedule will not only help you organize your day, but it will also be beneficial to your baby or toddler and will avoid unnecessary breakdowns and tantrums. If and where possible try to keep your schedule similar to your child’s school schedule since this way their routine won’t be affected too much. Our schedule looks a little like this:
07:30 – 08:00
Exercise (Aryan’s school sent us some kinder kinetic exercises to do with the kids, so I will be joining him with that every morning). Whatever you choose to do, make it fun and include your toddler.
Chores (getting ready, making the bed, feeding the dogs, washing the dishes, etc.). Once again include your toddler.
Stories, poem or song
Fine Motor Activities
Gross Motor Activity – Play outside (freeplay)
Quiet Play (Indoors) – Mommy works
Sensory Play/Arts and Crafts
Screentime / Unwind (Family Movie)
Bedtime Story, Praise & Worship, Prayers
Make Something Monday: Science Activities/ Arts and Crafts
Read Something Tuesday: Read books/Story Rocks/Finger puppets
Wacky Wednesday: Have fun outside – Gardening / Build obstacle course
Tasty Thursday: Bake/Cook together
Messyplay Friday: Get down and messy – sensory play
3. Stay Connected
We are so privileged to have incredible technology in today’s age and era, which makes it very easy to stay connected with our friends and family across the globe. You might not be able to visit your loved ones during the lockdown, but make a point of it to video call them on a regular basis, especially if your kids are used to seeing for example their grandma and grandpa on a regular basis. Play games over video calling with the kids, such as “I spy”, and 30 seconds.
4. Set up a snack box/basket for each child
These tiny little humans can sure eat A LOT! So set up a little snack box for each child. Every morning you place all the snacks for the day into the box and explain to your toddler/child when those snacks are finished there are no more for that day. This will force them to plan their snacks throughout the day rather than finishing a month’s snacks in a day, helping you to stick to your budget and to avoid unnecessary trips to the shops. Also place their cup/bottle for the day in your box/basket and explain to them that the bottle/cup are to be washed throughout the day, since this will also limit the number of dishes at the end of the day.
Please Note: The snacks basket is only for snacks and does not include breakfast, lunch and supper. I try to include 4 snacks – 2 healthy ones (eg. a fruit, yoghurt, rice cakes, pretzels, etc.) and 2 “other” snacks (this could be a packet of chips, cookie, small treat such as a chocolate, popcorn, or a sweetie).
5. Create a boredom box for your toddler
@funmammasa came up with this idea and I loved it so much that I made Aryan a little box as well. Basically it is a little box that you fill with all the nitty gritty stuff that your toddler does not usually play with and just lies around the house, waiting for you to step on it, eg. The little toys you get in kiddies meals, Kinder Joys or lucky packets. You throw all the toys into the box and whenever your toddler gets bored or refuses to play with the hundreds of toys you spent thousands on, you hand them the box and they will “discover” all the little toys they have forgotten about.
Ps: Make sure that the toys are fully functional and complete with all of its pieces or your 2 year old will constantly remind you that there’s a piece missing or even make you look for a wheel you know no longer exists.
6. Remember to spend time with your kids as well – they NEED the attention
I know a lot of moms need to work from home and these next few weeks will be especially challenging, but please remember that your kids still need you, maybe more now than ever. Their worlds have been turned upside down as well and they won’t be surrounded with friends or a teacher – they’ll only have you. So, when your child starts to get a bit more fussy or difficult they might just want your attention. Take a break (and a deep breath) and color, play clay or build some lego together – without any distractions.
7. Set Clear Boundaries and Rules from the get-go
It is important to set clear rules and boundaries from the very start so that your child knows what is expected of him/her, what is acceptable and what is not. Make sure your child understands all of your rules, and remember, you might have to remind him/her of your rules a couple of times throughout the first week. It is important to be strict and consistent. Rules could include things like: Clean up when you are done playing, clean up one set of toys, before taking something else, only take snacks from your snackbox, don’t interrupt mommy when she’s on the phone, etc.
8. Use the extra time you have to teach your children something valuable
This could literally be anything. For toddlers you could teach him/her kindness by baking cookies together and delivering them to the neighbors with a little card (make them up in packets and drop them in their postbox or place them in the gate – avoid physical contact). Older kids could be taught life lessons like how to cook a meal, how to iron a shirt, how to make their beds and put washing in the laundry basket. (Just kidding about the last 2). Choose something they could carry along with them for years to come.
9. Re-Connect with your husband, wife, children or families
Why not have a date night once a week – candle lit dinner/bath, picnic in the garden, or a movie marathon with your wife/husband. You could camp in the garden with your kids, create your own cinema with popcorn and sweeties, play family board games, have a family game night and have some much-needed quiet time together. CHOOSE to be still and re-connect with those around you.
10. Make sure you and your child get some quiet time – alone
Being stuck in the house with only each other for 3 weeks can become emotionally draining. Make sure you all have a space in the house that is just yours – yes even your child. Set up a little quiet time corner for your child, include things like a teepee/playtent, some of his/her favorite books, some pillows and a blanket. Ensure that your child gets at least 30 minutes alone time in his/her quiet corner every day to just unwind from the chaos, and you do the same – read a book, write, or catch up on your favourite series.
11. Make a List of things that need to get done
We all have things that we feel we can only do when we have a little extra time, so now’s your time – no excuses, no distractions. I am a lists person (since I am ALSO a master procrastinator) so why not make a list of everything you would like to get done that you won’t normally have time for. Everyday you could choose to do 1 or 2 tasks from your list and tick it off (because ticking it off will make you feel like you have actually accomplished something).
If you don’t have chores to do in or around the house, you could make a little “bucket list” of things you would like to experience with your husband or family, such as watching a sunset together, finding pictures in the clouds with your kids, teaching your kids some of the games you played as a child, etc. Whatever it is, jot it down, because lists can actually be pretty cool.
Now is not the time to panic and fear, no, lets rather use this time to re-connect – to re-connect with God, to re-connect with our partners, to re-connect with our children and our families and to re-connect with ourselves. Use this time to listen to your child’s laughter and all his silly conversations, to eat breakfast, lunch and supper together around the dining room table, to bake together, garden together and most of all make memories together, because this too will pass, but the memories you create will last forever. Your children might not remember the virus and its effects, BUT they will remember how we dealt with it.
Lots of Love,
Aryan & Mommy