I miss my family!! I'm sure you miss them too in this new 'stay at home' era...
How can you try to shorten the distance while staying safe?
Here are a few ideias:
Reinforcing family bonds! Share interests. Get to know your cousins better! ;)
(I take the opportunity to introduce you to my cousin Marta! I'm sure she will brighten up your quarantine with her positive outlook)
1. Share your day. Any creative ideas? Meals? Home workout or awesome instagram dance party?
2. Can't celebrate birthdays all together?? Bake a cake, put candles on your cake and take pictures, make a movie or go on FaceTime and sing happy birthday! This will brighten up the day of the birthday boy or girl for sure! And yours as well because while preparing you will think about him or her and smile anticipating the celebration!
3. Ask for demos! 'Can you show me how to... play this song on guitar, how to do double under in jump rope, prove that you can...' This will shake off all the boredom and have fun with your relatives.
4. Ask interesting questions and make them make short videos with the answers! I've only now realised that I don't know the age of my cousin's sons nor have any idea about their interests or hobbies. I wrote down 5 questions and the whole chat of 55 people is playing along and answering them! In fact, and while we don't want to recognise it, this time away is making us get closer to the more important people in our life: family!
So make the most out of this quarantine and get to know your family better!
Instead of just forward the latest joke, share something interesting about you!
More than one month living in lockdown, working from home, cleaning the house, cooking, and now home schooling! This seems like one of those obstacle-course never ending race!
Although I never thought I could manage all this, ever, not even imagine it for 10 days... I think we are doing quite well! ;)
I need to remind myself often:
1. to breathe!!!! If I don't take enough deep breathes during work/ school/ chores, I need to find time at the end of the day to get some exercise done and stretch/breathe/listen to classical music - this is helping me a lot!
2. to exercise. These last few days I can't find the time to continue my jump rope challenge... after realising the consequences of skipping this (and the relaxation time afterwards ;) ) I found a substitute that requires less minutes - Adidas Training App . It's great and I can fit exercise in between everything that is going on in this house ;) Also it offers variety which I'm in need of after 35 days safe at home (and not locked at home)
3. to adapt/ be flexible. This is crucial! We have traded our beautiful decorative Hallway Bench for an improvised ping pong table using a desk! It's time to be creative and focus on 'how can I make this house better for the time we are living now?'. Our ping pong tournaments are now one big highlight of the weekends!
4. set realistic goals. This is not a time to be perfectionist... don't push yourself to the limit. You need to stay strong, positive. We are living extraordinary times. We need to continue to live every day and not waste days on stressing about what we could not do each day. If you have to choose between extra work hours/ chores or calling your parents - do call your parents!! Our relationships are our support and there is no way these can be thrown to the end of our never ending list of priorities! Not when we are forced to think about life and death so many times per day! Focus your time and energy on what matters the most.
5. listen to music! This is really a great "tool"! Get the most of this and work on your playlists to focus at work while your kids are loudly speaking to their teachers, to bring your mood up while doing home chores, to relax and breathe at the end of the day remembering those yoga classes you miss... also explore on your free time! What are your friends listening to? discover new artists, watch live shows. Music can really fill your soul, fuel your life! And it can really contaminate others around you! Try it with your family! it also helps us create a space beyond tasks and worries! So press play! Go for it!! (and a special trick you can use - when you are full of listening to kids argue... music can get you out of that and that annoying sound will only play softly on the background ;) no headphones on this one please! you do need to hear them, just not as loudly! ;) )
6. pray and attend mass virtually - the strength we can get from THIS! Amazing grace :) And how small our problems become when you think abou God, eternity, the life of saints...
7. smile. it's funny how smiling in chaos transforms the atmosphere! Simple, quick and easy! USE IT!
8. watch you kids, be thankful and learn. they play, they rarely complain, they ask simple questions, they don't watch the news, they get the most out of each day, they're happy to spend days with the most important people in their life, they play 'let's pretend', they build castles using sheets, pillows and blankets!... Don't stress about the mess they make. Laugh, take pictures and look at their ways, their expressions, their beauty. Be thankful for their life and energy!! What more can we ask for??
Hope you are managing this special time well and that you and your family are well!
All the best,
My name is T. S. Coelho and I live in Lisbon, Portugal, with my husband and three kids. I work in the asset management industry, managing an equities fund.