Thanks to all of you who are doing your part to flatten the curve by staying home during this unprecedented time. But even in the best families, quarantine can make us all a little more stressed. Therefore, it is important to work on creating a positive home atmosphere. Here are a few ways you can keep it positive in the family home.
- Take your family’s emotional temperature. How is everyone doing with the new normal? To know the answer, you have to ask! Is the emotional temperature rising, normal or spiking a fever? If family members are stressed and more on edge, talk about what you could do to help each other. One of the positives that might come out of this quarantine is improved communication. Turn off screens and talk to each other!
- Provide structure for your family. Wake up at the same time each day. Cook, clean and get the kids to do their chores and school work. The more you can stay in your routine, the better. In the process, be cooperative and collaborative. For example, schedule work calls when kids are quiet and doing homework. Ask for devices to be turned off so people can have conversation or play a game. Don’t vegetate in front of a screen. Do positive activities like games, reading, and an art or science project.
- If anxiety is getting to you, practice relaxation methods like deep breathing, meditation and prayer. Find a quiet corner in the house to be alone and regroup for a few minutes. Take an adult time out when you feel overwhelmed. Engage in prayer and regroup!
- Engage everyone in exercise of some kind. It is a good way to improve mood and let off steam. This can be squats in front of the TV; floor exercises to an exercise APP, walk the dog around the neighborhood; go up and down stairs; clean the garage. Be creative. And remember that elliptical in the basement? It’s time to stop using it as a clothes line! Jump on and do a daily workout!
- Boredom, stress and anxiety can lead people to escape in negative ways. Avoid the temptation to medicate with substances including alcohol, online shopping, gambling or pornography. Don’t dabble! These are highly addictive and could lead to problems. If you already struggle with alcohol, do an online AA meeting and ask your partner to be your accountability person.
- Develop a gratitude list. A crisis often forces us to think about what is important and how blessed we are. Start and end your day with a gratitude list. Have everyone in the family contribute one or two items each morning and night. Read them aloud.
- Finally, if you feel unsafe. get help. If someone in your family is abusive or violent, police and emergency services are still operating. Reach out. Help lines are still in place and can be called. Don’t hesitate to call for help if your safety is of concern.