So here we are stuck in lockdown. Even for those of us that are introverted, being stuck inside for hours at a time without much respite from your fellow household members is enough to drive one crazy. Of course I am talking from personal experience, but I hope that these five ways I’ve been practicing will give you much grace and peace.
Everyone is writing and sharing guides for homeschool, homeworking, home socialising yet it is ok to simply be ‘homesurviving’.
When your whole world has been turned upside down and a completely new way of living is forced upon you, it is ok to give yourself much grace when falling into a new routine. Trying and failing is the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t. Maybe that school timetable just isn’t working. Perhaps school work for a couple of hours in the morning then a longer break and some creative activities in the afternoon. It’s ok to change up the routine. As an example I’ve been taking a shower at lunch time when I know I will need a break from everyone. It’s a chance to have some time to care for myself before heading back into motivating, playing, talking with my ten year old.
We need to give ourselves grace for making it through this time which is unusual and abnormal.
Be a team player
Right now it’s so easy to fall apart and compare our lives with each other stuck at home. My daughter has more school work than her older brother who is finishing school and her younger brother who is still in primary school. This is hard and a little unfair and can cause stress and arguments. It has been important to stress that we are a team, we support each other. If that means she needs a bit less noise for an hour – she gets it. If she needs the laptop her work takes priority.
With us all being at home more, there is more food preparation and eating going on, more mess made and simply more ‘home’ work to do. We are all pitching in, the kids have chosen which items on the cleaning rota they are taking responsibility for each day. It’s only the dishwasher, laundry and hoovering but it all helps.
Focusing on being a team, working towards the goal of each other’s success and health has helped our collective mindset shift from a comparative and combative one to one of peace and therefore home too.
Pick one thing
It’s easy for this expanse of time to feel like a wonderful time to get ‘all the things’ done. Much like the beginning of a new year we can see an expanse of time which has recently become vacated of some normal duties and come up with plans to fill it. “Now I can write that book, start and finish that decorating project, come up with a new business and website and make that bookcase, get rock solid abs, educate all the kids to pass their exams early”. It’s easy to suddenly become overwhelmed with #goals and yet much like January, a few weeks in (days even), we are stalling. I’ve decided not to make any goals of things to finish but pick one thing to work on a day. Maybe today it’s writing a blog post. Maybe it’s polishing my nails. With the uncertainty of what lies ahead, giving myself grace this way is kinder.
This new abnormal requires adjustment and small steps get you there more peacefully than bounding in huge leaps.
Rest and peace
New ways of living are incredibly tiring. We have found ourselves to be much more tired than usual. Not only is it the new ways of working and homing, the stress and the emotional feelings that we are processing leave us needing more rest. We’ve been taking naps, going to bed earlier, having more tea breaks.
Not only have we had to be creative in how we exercise, we have also had to make more space for times of rest.
Chase the fun
With the constant virus head counts and tactics, dates and news and rules changing daily, it is a serious time. Taking work, health and relationships seriously can make one stressed and anxious. Making each other laugh has become a key coping strategy at home. Picking random moments to have a dance, playing a game, let the mess go for a bit while you have a lark about, watching comedy on tv. Laughter is medicine.
It is a serious and stressful time which is why finding the fun helps to relieve the tension we are all feeling. I want to treasure the time I spend with those I love.
This comes with much grace and peace to you.