I started a Gratitude Challenge on my Facebook page. Every day I’m writing 3 things I’m grateful for right now. A few of the things I’ve shared so far have been:
1. That my husband can work from home. Although I’m not sure he’s loving it as much as I do.
2. That he’s home for dinner every night and we can eat together as a family.
3. Playing board games together, even if my 5 year old is a dirty cheater.
4. That my husband has been grilling more, hence me not having to cook as much.
5. Going on family walks together in our neighborhood.
6. Living close enough to the Chattahoochee River that we can walk, bike or run there.
7. That I bought a bike a few years ago and finally dusted it off to ride it.
8. Amazon has toilet paper now, even if it will take a week to get here.
9. Not getting hurt when I crashed on my bike today.
10. The beautiful weather we’re having in Georgia.
It’s also been really cool to see all the things my friends have shared about what they’re grateful for.
Eventually we will be able to get out of the house without worrying about getting sick.
Have you ever had a free day as a mom and spent the whole time thinking about what you were going to do? Or even worse, did you waste the few hours you had catching up on laundry or cleaning your house?
I’m not going to let that happen when we finally can get out of the house!
So I’m working on my list of what I’ll do with all of my freedom.
These Are The 10 Things I Miss The Most:
Eating dinner in a restaurant
Sitting in a coffee shop
Walking through the mall
Going to the movies
Getting hugs from friends and their littles
Weekly play dates with friends
Pedicures at the nail salon
Workout classes at the gym- especially yoga
Sending the kids to their grandma’s house for a long weekend
Going to the beach
I’m also planning a weekend away with my girlfriends to do some of these things. Hopefully that will happen sooner than 2021.
What’s on your list? I’m going to keep adding to mine.
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Inside: Tips for surviving quarantine with young kids.
If you had told me a few months ago we would be forced to stay home and schools would be closed until further notice because of a deadly virus, I would’ve thought you were talking about a scene from a Sci-Fi movie.
When we were planning a trip to Jamaica for Spring Break last month, my husband casually mentioned getting travel insurance just in case the coronavirus became a bigger deal and we couldn’t go.
At that point, I had to google what he was talking about. I had seen a few memes on social media, but I was pretty clueless about what they meant.
About a week later, he started hoarding non-perishables in bulk from Amazon and I still thought he was crazy. Fast forward to today, and I’m glad we got the travel insurance. My only regret is not stocking up on more toilet paper.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard a lot of advice about everything from social distancing to protecting our health, mastering homeschooling and even parenting. Some of it has been good advice, and some bad. MOST if it has been well-meaning, but it hasn’t always been credible. The challenge is, figuring out who is right.
But the best thing I’ve read is that it’s ok to feel all the feels.
Recently I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions. I’ve had feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness, hopelessness, joy, laughter, exhaustion, gratitude, confusion, and doubt. The reality is with at least another month of social distancing to go, I’m going to keep feeling all of these things and more.
I’m trying really hard to give myself self-compassion and grace. This pandemic is new to all of us. So we have to cut ourselves some slack. We’re all still figuring this out and adjusting to a new way of life.
If that means we allow our kids to play more video games and eat more sugar, it’s ok.
I’m trying to be more of a “yes mom” right now because I want my kids to be happy. Being stuck at home for weeks at a time is hard enough and I really want to try to make it fun for them.
Plus sometimes there’s really no way to get a break other than by letting them watch tv or play video games. If that means that I’m the world’s okayest mom, I’m fine with it.
So go ahead, feel all the feels.
But that doesn’t mean you have to let all those negative feelings rule your life.
How do we stop them though?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to figure that out. I’ve written blogs on self-care and as a former therapist, you’d think I’d have this part down pat.
But a lot of my tips don’t really apply to this new way of life. I can’t go get a massage or a pedicure. Meeting up with my girlfriends for dinner is obviously out of the question. The gym is closed. I can’t really go ANYWHERE!
To be honest, there’ve been days when I haven’t had any motivation to do the things I know I should be doing to cope. But I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other and going through the motions, hoping that eventually it will pay off and I’ll wake up from this bad dream.
There have still been ups and downs, but I’m starting to figure out how to cope.
3 WAYS I’M SURVIVING QUARANTINE
How each of us copes with quarantine will be different. You have to figure out what works for you.
Here are a few tips to help you do that:
Think about what makes you happy. What do you enjoy doing? Do you have any hobbies?
What can you do to escape from all of the negativity and bad news?
Learn a new skill. You could take an online class or learn how to knit. You can learn almost anything by watching YouTube videos.
Do those things every day or as often as you can.
This is what I’ve been trying to do every day to help me cope:
Walking or Running
For me, art doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If I think about it too hard, I’ll get hung up on being perfect and that’ll stop me from doing it.
Color Your Heart, is a great activity you can do every day that will be kind of like an art journal for how you’re feeling.
Here’s how you do it:
– Write down the feelings you’re having.
– Choose a color to go with each feeling.
– Color in your heart to show how you’re feeling.
Here’s the one I did earlier this week.
My kids found it and wanted to do one too. This is a great activity for helping your kids express how they’re feeling and helps you open up the conversation if you haven’t been sure how to do that.
WALKING OR RUNNING
Just getting outside and moving has been a priority for me over the past few weeks. I usually prefer running, but since I haven’t had much energy lately I’ve been doing a lot more walking.
It doesn’t really matter though. Getting out of the house by myself and moving my body is what helps me!
I love to read and get wrapped up in a book. Sometimes I stay up way too late at night reading, but I guess there could be worse things!
I just finished the book I Owe You One, by Sophie Konsella.
It’s a great book about love, empowerment and how our families make us who we are. It has a happy ending, which we can definitely all use right now!
If you’re looking for a book that’s a little more suspenseful, The Wives by Tarryn Fisher is for you. It will keep you guessing until the very end and you won’t want to put it down.
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I’m trying my best to find the good in every day and celebrate the small wins. I know there will still be moments of sadness, fear, and anger about our situation. But what matters most right now is that my family is safe. We’re spending more time together than we ever have and we’re trying to treasure that.
One day this will all be a distant memory!
If you enjoyed reading this, please share it with someone who you think needs to hear it!
Yesterday, while I was trying to write a blog about how to talk to your kids about coronavirus my kids kept begging me to come outside and jump on the trampoline with them. I finally gave in.
We were playing a game where they each had 20 lives and every time I made them fall down they lost a life. Then my 5 year-old-fell right on his wrist and immediately started screaming. When he didn’t stop screaming, I realized I had to take him to get it checked out.
After the x-ray technician came into our room telling me that we’d probably have to go to the ER for surgery, I called my husband sobbing.
I was crying because I felt like it was my fault, but also because now we’d have to go to the ER. I was upset because it would be the third surgery for my son at only 5. Then there was the fact that the ER was the last place we wanted to be in the midst of the current coronavirus outbreak.
The doctor reassured us that we would be ok. She said kids aren’t who are getting Covid-19. She said if we just kept at least 6 feet of distance between anyone we came into contact with, we would be ok. We could even wear a mask if we wanted to be extra careful.
She looked at my mom and said, “You shouldn’t go to the hospital though.”
The doctor then began to explain her frustrations about how our community is responding to social distancing. She said, “People aren’t listening and it’s making me angry!” She said that she wished our government could arrest people for not listening.
Someone Has To Take Care Of Us
I can only imagine how it must feel to work in healthcare right now. I’m so grateful for those brave souls that are on the front lines, exposing themselves to a disease we don’t really know everything about.
The threat is imminent that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. We know that based on what happened in China and what’s happening now in Italy.
The thing is, just a few weeks ago Italy was in our shoes. My mom was getting ready to go on a trip there with her 77-year-old sister.
They had to make a decision about whether or not the trip they’d been planning for months was worth getting quarantined in another country. One day my mom said Italy had 60 something cases of coronavirus, and two days later it was up to 600.
A Last-Minute Decision
Luckily, the night before they were supposed to leave, the risk level was increased to a 3. So they canceled their trip, just hours before their flight was supposed to leave. The agent with Delta laughed a little when my mom called to cancel her flight. She said, “But it’s beautiful here in Florence right now.”
Now, the entire country of Italy is quarantined and the death rate is over 1200. As devastated as they were, now my mom and aunt are so glad they didn’t go.
Spring Break is in a few weeks for us. We were so excited to take our boys to Jamaica to an all-inclusive resort. So now we’re in the same bind. Do we risk getting stuck in a country without adequate healthcare when this virus spreads?
I’m sure many of you have plans to go on trips and are thinking you can escape the boredom by just going anyway. But we have to reconsider.
We’re all in a situation we’ve never been in before. This is new to everyone, even all of our countries’ leaders. We have to give them a little grace when they are hesitant to react. And when they do tell us to stay home unless we have to go out, we need to listen.
The whole point of schools closing is to slow the spread. If we all just ignore the recommendation to social distance and keep having playdates we’re not going to be doing anything to help.
What We Can Do
We’re going to be like Italy in a few weeks if we don’t do something. Right now, doctors in Western Europe are having to decide between intubating a 40-year-old with kids and a 60-year-old with high blood pressure because hospitals don’t have enough beds.
I get it that people still want to support their local businesses. You can order Uber Eats or order take out. Purchase a gift card that you can use later on when all of this blows over. Or better yet, help out someone in need who can’t afford to eat out because their kids are out of school and they can’t work.
I know many of you who read this will still think that I’m overreacting and you’ll do what you want. That’s ok. I actually for once do hope that I’m wrong. The best thing that could happen is we all look back on this in a few months and laugh at how ridiculously we reacted.
But please just consider the possibility that this may not be an overreaction. Look at the facts of how fast this is spreading.
Do what you can to help slow it. Stay home. Do it for the elderly who are already sick, your parents, my kids’ grandparents, and all those who are immunocompromised.
If you agree, please help me spread the word and share this with your friends.
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