As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing. While we imagine our audience is all around the world, there’s a good chance that wherever you are, the virus is affecting your life. From restaurants closing to school being in session, life has become complicated, to say the very least.
If your child’s school has shut down, your town has been affected by the virus, or your town is at risk, here are some survival tips for staying sane and safe.
A Time to Practice Good Hygiene
Any time is a good time to teach your children about hygiene. While a little bit of germs can be good for your immune system, during a pandemic is when you should be a little more mindful of hygiene. Teach your children proper hand washing techniques and tell them to wash their hands every 20 seconds.
Also, it’s a good time to teach your children how to stop touching their face after dirtying their hands. It’s hard to do; we bet reading the previous sentence made you want to touch your own face. However, teaching your kids to be more mindful is smart.
Go Outside, But Not in a Crowd
Shutting yourself and your children in the house all day is just going to make everyone miserable. That’s why you need to get out and play for at least an hour. Springtime is coming, and taking advantage of that is good for your health. You don’t need to travel to Europe in order to have a good time. Play out in your yard or go into the wilderness. These are places that have no contact or little contact with other people.
Don’t Frighten Your Kids
Your kids may be afraid about the virus, even if it cancelled school! While they may be worrying a bit about going back to school when all is said and done, they’re mostly worried about the virus itself. No kid likes to be sick, after all.
Be honest about the virus, but also don’t try to scare them. Point out that children, especially under 10, have a low chance of suffering major health problems from the virus. If you’re a young, healthy adult, point out that you’re safe as well.
Don’t Have Too Many Playdates
Sadly, this is a time where you may want to avoid your child’s friends sleeping over. Even if your child’s friend has no symptoms, COVID-19 can sometimes be asymptomatic. Instead, perhaps your child’s friends can call your kid. If you must, be selective.
Working From Home With Kids
If your job sent you home to work, it’s a whole new ballgame, and a double-edged sword. On one hand, you get to spend more time with your kids. On the other hand, it is a little bit hard for you to work with your kids at home. Here are some tips.
- Set up an office space away from your kids. Explain that you’re working and they must not bother you unless they have an emergency.
- If your kids are too young to be in the house unsupervised, you may worry about sending them to a daycare or hiring a sitter you don’t know. You may end up having to work with your kids around you.
- Sending them to their grandparents may sound good, but make sure no one has the virus. The virus can cause more damage to an elderly person.
- Try to eliminate any distractions. Don’t work in a messy room, and make sure everything is free from anything that would cause you to lose productivity. Perhaps listen to some soft music while you work.
Many restaurants are closing due to the virus, at least for dining in. If you’re sent home, now is the time to cook more at home. It can save you money on the delivery costs of ordering a pizza, after all.
Plus, having mealtime with your kids is a great way to bond. A cooked meal can be a better alternative to eating fast food as well.
Buy in Bulk
Before the grocery stores get a little too crowded or understocked, make sure that you have enough supplies. You don’t need a bunker full of them, but if you have a Sam’s Club or Costco near you, you can order foods in bulk. If you’re afraid to go to the store, you can also order non-perishable food items online. For example, if you have a Plus membership at Sam’s Club, you can order certain foods online with no cost for shipping.
Now is a good time to teach your children how to save some money. Putting a little money away right now, if you’re earning it, is a good move. Teach your kids about the value of saving money, and use this as an example. While you don’t need to teach your child everything about finances, you can still be able to teach them a few things about it. Use this pandemic as a teachable moment.
Have a Variety of Activities Planned
Like we said, going outside is a good thing, and so is practicing other activities. Streaming some shows on Netflix and playing the hottest video games are a good way to pass the time, but don’t rely too much on screens. Read a nice book, have a board game night, throw yourselves a family party, and keep everyone entertained.
Talk to an Online Therapist
This is a trying time, and you may find yourself losing your sanity. In a case like this, you may want to seek the help of a therapist. However, going to a therapist’s office may not be ideal right now. Luckily, there are online therapy outlets you can go to. One of them is BetterHelp, an online therapy service. Speak to a licensed therapist online and see what they can do for you. They can provide family counseling, depression therapy, help calm your anxieties, and much more.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.