1. BEAUTY REST: Getting 6-8 hrs. of interrupted sleep is critical. Don’t let your normal bedtime pattern fall by wayside. Keep a regular sleep and wake schedule. Restorative rest is critical to staying healthy.
2. DAILY AGENDA: Develop a routine, keep a schedule of things to do. This can change from day to day or week, depending on work, childcare as well as caring for extended family members. It is important to keep setting goals for the day, for you and your family. Retaining a sense of purpose helps to alleviate the stress and anxiety around us.
3. BODY MOVE: Exercise and keep moving. If you are able, depending on where you live, get 30-45 minutes of exercise outdoors every day. If going outside is not possible, YOUTUBE and Netflix offer a variety of exercise options from yoga, Taiichi, Zumba, etc. My favorite ( especially if you have children) is to put on some loud music and just dance together with your children. MAKE SOME NOISE!!! You will be amazed how good you will feel after. Even more fun is to get dressed up and have your very own dance party!! Your kids will see you as rock star because you made fun happen! Remember this is stressful them too as many are too young to comprehend what is really going on. Their coping mechanisms will only be as good as yours.
4. A LITTLE DAB WILL DO YA: Self Care is important in times like this. it is easy not to feel the need to get dress. Staying in one’s pajamas or sweats greatly impacts our mood and will only add to the depressed and anxious atmosphere that is around us. Getting dress implies you have a purpose. So, dress for day for the life you want and not the one you are in. Ladies it helps to dab on little makeup and lipstick, do the hair or a creative head wrap. You never know who you will see in the virtual world!!
5. Remember the song? “Reach out and touch” somebody’s hand. We may not be able to touch some one, but we can definitely touch someone heart’s by calling, Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, etc. Connecting with others helps with depression, calms anxiety and lifts the spirits. Your goal is to seek and provide support. We are in this together. T
6. An Apple a day keeps the Dr away: Not sure if that will do the trick but definitely try and keep to a healthy diet. Junk food, too much salt, fat and sugar are not a good thing. In times of stress, it is too easy to over-eat or even forget to eat. If you are alone, arrange some virtual lunch/dinner dates with friends or family. Eating a healthy meal and sharing time with friends’ aids can promote good health. For families, I encourage you to eat together and share stories and conversation. Now is a good time to teach one another how to cook or learn a new recipe.
7. CAN’T YOU JUST BEHAVE?? As a parent we are thinking it. But the reality is that children are going to mis-behave and you can expect there are going to be behavioral issues during We are all struggling, and a child’s response is often to mis-behave and /or have meltdowns. They are coping as best they can. Your best response as a parent is to acknowledge what is going on and gently reassure them, that life will get back to normal but in the meantime life is going to feel upsetting. Creating safe spaces, soothing mechanisms will go much further than punishments or consequences. Acknowledging fear and anger with your child is a crucial. Let them know you are afraid too but that everyone is working together to solve the crises.