Kids are off school for months and you’re working from home. Going out for a meal to get away isn’t an option, nor is hiring a babysitter, lest they bring an infection into your household. Adjusting to this “new normal” has a lot of people reeling. Here are some tips to embrace the opportunities, break the anxiety cycle, and positively manage your time and your situation, which, incidentally, is the best way to keep calm.
Working Remotely Many if not most businesses, to the greatest extent possible for them, have asked employees to work remotely. If that’s not something that’s been part of your company culture in the past, it can be challenging. Inc. Magazine gives 7 tips to making it work, which include daily check-ins, regular communication, leveraging communication and collaboration technology, managing expectations, focusing on outcomes, getting your team the tools they need, and being flexible—because everyone has a lot going on.
Keeping Kids Occupied With kids at home 24/7, keeping them occupied can feel like a monumental task. The Atlantic offers up ideas that will keep children busy—and learning—that don’t involve sitting them down with an iPad. These can include reading interactively, taking the opportunity to tell them stories about experiences and relatives that you’ve never relayed, and sending them on missions, e.g., to build a fort or go on a scavenger hunt. In addition, celebrities are pitching in to read children’s books on social media to keep kids occupied. Forbes has also compiled an amazing list of activities that will keep kids busy and engaged.
Cooking at Home For a lot of people, cooking at home is relaxing. For those who have always seen it as a chore, perhaps this extra time at home will allow you to adopt cooking as a new hobby—and it’s a hobby you can share with your kids that they will be able to put to good use for a lifetime. Time Magazine put together 5 Tips From Chefs on Cooking From Your Pantry if You’re at Home—tips that can help you and your family avoid junk food and boredom eating and embrace the culinary arts. And the New York Times assembled 30 Recipes for Lunch at Home—a meal a lot of us aren’t used to making.
Staying Active With gyms across the country being shut down, workout routines are grinding to a halt. The good news is that there are a multitude of ways to stay active at home. Planet Fitness has started live streaming 20-minute at-home workouts every evening at 7pm ET for everyone—you don’t even have to be a member. CorePower Yoga is also offering free access to online classes. LES MILLS has put up a temporary site with free access to more than 100 workouts, and YouTube has a veritable cornucopia of free workout videos, even for kids. Find out about these and a host of others from the 9News article “Free ways to stay active at home during COVID-19-related gym closures.”
TV and Movies Let’s face it, despite attempts to make the most of your and your family’s time, we’re all probably going to be doing more than our normal amount on binge watching. That can also be cultural by the way—the Metropolitan Opera is streaming a free opera each night from its archives. But if what you really want to do is just check out, you can sign up for the New York Times Watching Newsletter for recommendations on the best TV shows and movies to watch, or just check out the 50 Best Movies and TV Shows on Netflix and Disney Plus.
Books Now might be your chance to conquer the classics. Into more contemporary reading? Amazon Prime customers have access to First Reads, which allows them to choose one editor’s pick a month for free, as well as access to over 60,000 free Kindle books. But that’s nothing compared to the more than 300,000 e-books and audiobooks you can access for free from New York Public Library’s E-Book Central.
Bottom line, this is a great time to get creative and explore ways to use this newfound time for the betterment of ourselves and our families—because this, too, shall pass.