I am not a medical professional. I do not pretend to be. I am only as good as the information I’ve consumed and with COVID-19 on my mind, I’m trusting that source to be the CDC. Now that we’re clear on my credentials, I wanted to share how I plan to make this period of Social Distancing work for me.
An attitude of gratitude. Gratitude?! You’re stuck in a house with 2 kids, a crazy dog and a husband that doesn’t have any work to do for three weeks…and you are grateful? Damn right I am. During an average work week I see both of my littles for about 3 hours a day, during which time I’m rushing to get them fed, dressed and out the door or, fed, clean and off to sleep. That’s only 15 hours a week, while I spend over 40 with my work family. I’m fortunate that our company has always been flexible about working remote and is strongly encouraging us to stay home and work if we can. That means I’ll have 24/7 access for big squeezes, belly laughs and general silliness. I often hear time goes too fast so having this time is invaluable.
Structure. On the weekends we are a ‘free play’ household, meaning if we don’t have activities, visits scheduled or other plans we do whatever. Some days that means basketball in the basement, tag, dance parties or indoor carwashes. Not to say that social distancing is bringing the hammer down, but 21+ days of free play/free for all will definitely take a toll. We’ll be putting a loose schedule in place to give the kids some routine and ourselves some sanity. Something like:
- Free play
- Outside/Screen Time
With littles, holding to a real schedule can be difficult, but its my hope that after a few days at home everyone looks forward to each part of the day and weather permitting, we’d love more outside time. Here in Chicago, anything is possible though.
Meal Planning. I usually do a pretty good job of planning meals week to week, but now I feel it’s even more important to ensure the food we do have is going as far as it needs to. I did some apocalypse style shopping (not hoarding) to make sure I had enough pantry staples and chicken nuggets in the event that we couldn’t shop for a couple of weeks. Now it’s about taking that food and creating a plan to eat it and eliminate food waste. Transforming leftovers into something new and making sure we eat a salad before the lettuce wilts. Make it a game, or take turns cooking to keep it interesting.
Reaching out. How often do we just text, email or not reach out at all because we are so busy? A lot. This is a time to pick up the phone, and call or facetime with the people you love, but also the people you haven’t had a chance to connect with in a while. Check in, catch up, swap stories or latest Netflix binges. Social interaction is normal, natural and while we’re all staying away from each other for the sake of humanity we need to make sure that proximity isn’t the only way we can relate.
So far, that’s my four-step survival guide. The hustle might look a little different over the next few weeks, but I have no doubt it’ll still be wild ride. I welcome other suggestions and ideas to help get through this, as we’re all in it together.
Wash your hands, stay away from public places and stay healthy everyone.