Hello dear readers, family and friends. Just some more random thoughts for today. The virus is rapidly increasing and a another shutdown is being discussed by the powers that be. Hopefully the toilet paper does not disappear again but maybe you should all go grab an extra pack or two in the upcoming weeks? Just an idea.
Along those same lines, depression in adults has been increasing as a result of the previous shutdown, loss of jobs, loss of childcare and good interactions for children and loss of loved ones due to the virus or other illness that have also had their funerals impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Children are feeling the pressure too, cabin fever is sure to be an issue. Many adults that are working at home are also faced with entertaining and caring for bored, stuck at home children, while meeting work demands. If you’re family is like mine, you have developed a bubble of people that you interact with and no one else, most likely your parents or in-laws, siblings and maybe your closest friend. How then are you helping each other deal with the stress load?
Video calls are great ways to stay in touch but are quickly becoming lifelines for your children. Let them video call their friends during a favorite TV show so they can watch it together. If you have gamer kids, let them connect online with their friends so they can play their favorite video games. Add a video call to it so they can see and hear each other and let the games begin. Grandparents can be a lifesaver, even on a video call. Sit the kids down with an IPad and Grandma on the other end for a nightly story time or afternoon story time at the local library. Yes, they are streaming those.
Gather everyone in your bubble for an afternoon cookout and much needed human interaction, keeping mindful of limits and social distancing but a nice afternoon outside with friends and laughter can go a long way, for you and your kids. Got a card table and a bunch of Legos? Challenge your bubble buddies and long distance friends to building wars. Get the kids involved. See which household can build the most elaborate creation in a weeks time. Put your challengers on video phone and build together while you chat and laugh together. No Legos? Try Jenga blocks, building blocks, canned goods or playing cards.
Like trivia games? Another great thing that can done over video calls with a few adjustments. Cards against humanity is a great game to play this way and there are many other games like it now, suitable for all ages. Don’t have any cards? Pull up some trivia games online, pick a player to be your host and have at it. Movie trivia, sports trivia or even book trivia can all be found on multiple websites.
Need to be more productive? Take the time to clean out an attic or basement. Let the kids organize things, re-discover old toys or gather things together for a yard sale. Older kids bored? Have them clean and organize cabinets, dressers or closets and assign a dollar amount to each. You get some peace while they clean and they get a few dollars to spend as they want.
Got some rocks in the backyard? Send the kids out to hunt some special rocks. Flat, round ones are best. When they get done, let them clean them off. Give them finger-paint to make pet rocks. Add eyes, pom-poms, and other fabric scraps to add faces, clothing and other accents. Then they can gift them, keep them or go on a walk around town to hide them for other kids to find as secret surprises. My town does that and it’s been a big hit. Once you find a rock, you are free to keep it or re-hide it to be found again.
Take a Saturday to re-discover a favorite park or hiking trail. Pack light lunches and spend the afternoon outside, letting nature and sunshine ease the burden from the week. Make a list of things for the kids to find and have a scavenger hunt along the trail. They’ll be busy hunting acorns, pinecones, and flowers while getting much needed fresh air and exercise.
Try setting up an obstacle course in your backyard or an old fashioned croquet game. Challenge each other as a family to get the best score or fastest time. Any outside activity would be great for anyone feeling stressed or depressed, exercise and fresh air goes a long way towards alleviating those symptoms.
However you are spending time with your family during this crisis, I hope you are taking time to unplug, unwind and reconnect to the people most important to you. The country is in turmoil, do the best you can to stay sane, stay home, and stay safe.
Comment below and let me know how life is in your bubble. How are you spending time together with family and friends? What is your new favorite activity?