Parenting in the Time of Corona

There is no doubt about it- we are living in a strange time.

Here in Chicago, my husband and I have been cooped up in our condo for nearly a week.

This pause has inspired me to write about what we’re all wondering:

How can we maintain some sense of normalcy right now?

There are dozens of things that come to mind, but here are 3 simple ones that I would highly recommend:

1. Create a schedule and stick to it.

Don’t get me wrong; I 100% appreciate the flexibility of this new reality. I, too, have been tempted to stay up and sleep late, eat whatever I want, and watch Netflix all day.

The only reason I haven’t given into these temptations is because I know that I will feel terrible if I let everything slide into chaos.

In these uncertain times, the best way to guard against anxiety and depression is to establish a new “normal.” So if your new normal means sleeping in later, that’s great, but be consistent about it.

Establish a schedule for school and work times, meal times, screen times, and sleep times, and stick to it.

Resisting the temptation to allow this time to be a free-for-all will help to keep your bodies regulated, your moods elevated, and your outlooks positive.

We need that right now.

2. Focus on what you CAN control.

A scheduled routine is a great way to exert external control, but let’s think about changing your internal perspective as well.

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic: economic, community health, educational, and global implications, not to mention the people hoarding toilet paper. You cannot control 99.99% of the factors at play. Therefore, it is best to focus on what you can and forget the rest.

So what can you control?

You can control how you show up with your family, how you treat your kids and loved ones, and how you manage your own stress, fear and uncertainty.

You also control the food you eat, your exercise, and your hygiene.

I’m not going to tell you what choices to make, but we all know that some choices will make you feel better and some will make you feel worse.

Make good choices, and let everything else go.

3. Try to enjoy the slow down.

It may be difficult to see the silver-lining, but try to remember that this pandemic is giving us the gift of time. It’s offering us time to just be.

So try to make the most of it. Spend time with your family. Read a book. Cook with your kids. Listen to a podcast or watch a movie.

Just be.

I don’t know what the world will look like when this is over, but I do hope that you will make the most of the opportunity because I am very certain that it won’t last forever.

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