Safe Family Fun in the New COVID Normal
There’s no doubt these are challenging times. Our lives have changed in ways we never could have imagined – and we still don’t know when it’s going to end. Accepting change is difficult at the best of times, but when you’re also dealing with home schooling, social distancing, and self-isolation, it’s no wonder families are stressed.
While some people thrive in challenging situations, others struggle to cope. It can be even more difficult for kids. What makes things even harder during COVID-19 is social isolation. Without extended family, friends, and loved ones, we miss the important health benefits that come from social interactions, like a sense of belonging, happiness, strong immunity, and more.
But it’s not all bad news. There are still ways for families to connect and have some fun during these challenging times. The benefits of eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep can have a great impact on your family’s wellbeing. So can the little things in life! We’ve noticed many people opting for the fun face masks we offer to help brighten up your kids’ day.
Below are seven additional ways you can and your family can beat the stress of COVID-19 and have more fun!
Did you know that the magic ratio for a happy relationship is 5:1? This means that you need five positive feelings or interactions for every negative one. There’s no time like the present to put this into practice with your family. The key to getting this right is regulating your emotions as a parent. If you’re angry, try to resist the rage. You’ll be surprised how quickly it builds your emotional resilience!
Learning new habits together can be a great way to unite your family. If you’ve not tried mediation it could be a great experience for the whole family. People have been reaping the benefits of meditation for centuries. While it might look easy to close your eyes and focus on your breathing, the challenge is regulating your breathing when you notice signs of stress. A minute of deep breathing can calm your mind and allow the stress to melt away. You can even tense your muscles as you breathe in and untense them as you exhale to make it more effective. If your mind is racing and you can’t concentrate, try a guided meditation. This allows you to relax and allow someone else – often using an app – to take you on the journey. Even children can join in!
Boundaries & Rewards
When you’re trying to work and home-school at the same time, performance suffers and stress levels escalate. The best way to counteract this is to establish routines for you children. It could be as simple as finishing homework or cleaning up their room by a set time. When they perform these tasks successfully, make some time for fun!
Older children may understand what’s going on in the world, but younger children may not know why their routines have been disrupted. As a result, they may act out or throw tantrums. This is where reassurance comes in. Shower them with cuddles, empathy, and love. Tell them that everything’s going to be OK. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Watch Family Movies together
It’s important to keep your family informed, but too much television can create unnecessary anxiety. It’s near impossible to get the kids off the screens these days so why not use this to your advantage. Set aside time to watch age appropriate movies together and give everyone a chance to choose what you watch. That can all be part of the fun.
Organize Family Activities
Doing things together is great way to bond and fill the days, particularly if you can’t leave home. If you’re an avid camper, you might want to try backyard camping. This is a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors and feel like you’re on vacation. You can set up a tent, fire up the barbecue, and even roast marshmallows. If you prefer indoor activities, crafting is a great way to engage young minds. You can help your children make puppets, origami, or face masks. Remember, children love to master new skills, and there’s nothing like making something to give them a sense of accomplishment – and a new trinket to hang in their room.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help for you or your family if it all becomes too much. You might turn to a doctor, therapist, or life coach. The sooner you recognize the signs of anxiety and depression, the sooner you can defeat them. Keep in mind that insomnia, aggression, or hyperactivity can be also be signs of anxiety, particularly in children, so don’t ignore them.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to adapting to the new normal. Just do your best and don’t be too hard on yourself. Whether you use one or all of these strategies, you and your family will grow together and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever!