If you’ve been keeping up with the news, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been skyrocketing around the world, forcing many schools, businesses, and public meeting places to shut down for the foreseeable future. It’s important to keep our loved ones safe, which means following government protocol and recommendations from the CDC. However, life for many parents has dramatically changed over the last few months, with many being forced to work from home, and several counties around the nation ordering shelters in place for its residents.
So, how do you stay connected to others during this tumultuous time? How do you maintain a sense of family and community if you’re more or less stuck inside your house for the next several weeks?
1. Use video calls to stay in touch with loved ones.
There are many ways to video chat with people you know, so try using your computer or a smartphone app to call friends and family. Check-in with your elderly family members, if possible. Reach out to friends or colleagues and see how they are doing. Your children can call each other and will instantly light up when they see their friends’ faces!
2. Go on neighborhood walks or local hikes.
Unless you are ordered to stay inside, people are still being encouraged to go on walks or hikes in their neighborhood. Going to public parks is discouraged, and people are urged to keep their distance from others, but you can still enjoy getting some fresh air and exploring your neighborhood or a great local hiking spot. Staying in good physical shape can also boost your immune system and guard your mental health as well!
3. Text or email pictures to people.
Take fun pictures of your activities throughout the day and send them to your friends or family. You can do virtual “scavenger hunts” with your friends and challenge them to find objects around their house and see who can send a picture first. You can also use this time to create files and albums of your little one’s pictures (chances are, you have thousands!) and edit any of them that you want to change.
4. Take time to work on family photo albums.
This is a great opportunity to work on digital photo storage and albums. You can begin sifting through all your family pictures and sorting them by year, vacation, or milestone. There are many websites that let you design digital photo albums that can be printed and mailed to you.
5. Take advantage of the extra time with family.
Working parents don’t always get many opportunities to spend time with their children on a daily basis. Being home allows parents to interact with their children and participate in their daily activities. Working at home with children can be stressful, though! Make sure to take advantage of any help you can get, and be sure to take breaks when you can. If you are working and need some quiet time, set your children up with some learning activities or sensory play that will keep them occupied. Chances are, if they see you working diligently, they might be encouraged to work hard at the same time.
6. Offer to help someone in need.
Your friends, family, or neighbors might need some supplies during this time. Offer to do some grocery shopping or run errands for someone in need, like an elderly family member who is unable to leave their house. If you know a struggling mother, offer to donate baby food, formula, or diapers if needed. This is a great time for communities to come together and help one another.
7. Reach out to a mental health professional.
If you are struggling mentally, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. Many therapists and psychiatrists can do appointments over the phone if needed. This is a time to prioritize your mental health!
Here at Team KeaBabies, our thoughts go out to those affected by the coronavirus. We sincerely hope that each of you remains healthy and safe during this time.
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.