A push for staying busy? Let’s take time for self-care.
Jessica Cisneros, Vice President of Behavioral Health Services
I am seeing many posts on social media about parents wanting to set a schedule for their children that includes academics and routine. While routine is extremely important for both adults and children, it is also important to remember it is okay to have some down time. Many of us are feeling anxious because of the difficult situation that we are living. Many have very valid fears about the virus. Some of us are also having anxiety at not having our normal things to do in a day. We don’t know how to handle down time and boredom. We live busy lives and not knowing what’s next is anxiety provoking.
Keeping our kids up to date on academics is helpful, but it is also helpful to let them be kids. I am a firm believer that kids need to learn to deal with boredom on their own. Figuring out their entire schedule or giving them an electronic device is not always the answer. While some of us work from home our children (depending on their age) can have different options of reading, drawing, painting, watching TV, playing with siblings, but don’t necessarily need a strict schedule. Don’t add more stress to yourself by having to create a strict schedule, unless that is what works for your family. We are all different and our kids learn and respond in different ways. During these first few days off it is okay for kids to sleep in a bit, have free play, and to read when they are ready. It’s okay to go outside for a walk, take kids to a playground or let them run around in the backyard. The message here is to not over stress if you haven’t had time to download educational activities or a schedule for your children. Let your kids be kids.
Now for adults. Let yourself relax. We often wish for a few days at home to simply rest. Rest, Rest and Rest some more if possible. Clean, organize, call a friend/family, exercise and/or cook since these are all great ways to feel a purpose in your day. We all need purpose, but remember we often long for days at home. Let’s make the best out of spending this extra time with those we love. I know many are still working and having to find childcare and balance the day. For those, please take time for self-care, even just 20 minutes a day if possible. If you are finding yourself nervous about the situation it may be best to limit your exposure to social media and the news.
As always, Family Houston is here to help. If you need additional assistance, please visit www.familyhouston.org/coronavirus.
How to talk to children about COVID-19
How to keep children entertained
Fresh air and sun are important. It’s still okay to go outside and being outside means you can still get plenty of physical activity in.
If you are inside, try to be creative with physical activity. You can make an obstacle course or have dance parties by clearing some space and playing music.
Make an indoor hopscotch by using tape instead of chalk.
Try out some kid-friendly yoga lessons (YouTube has many to choose from)
This is a good time to participate in family activities such as playing board games or creating new games.
Arts and crafts is another way to keep children entertained and away from the TV. Give them some markers, glue, cardboard, and scissors (monitor scissors usage)
Another great resource to find creative ideas with things you’ll already have in the house is Pinterest.