Greetings from Coronavirus Lockdown, Day 12:
Oregon officially started its “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” mandate yesterday, March 23. As far as I can tell, this is a shelter-in-place mandate with an less-scary title. Our family has already been self-quarantining since schools closed, to err on the side of caution. We’re all under 40 and in good health, so I’m not concerned about our health — but I would hate for any of us to be carrying the virus and pass it on to someone else.
In order to maintain sanity, I’ve been trying to maintain a fairly consistent routine with my two kids, ages 7 and 4 (with birthdays comings soon!). Here’s what we’ve been up to:
Daily Schedule for Kids
- Morning yoga via YouTube (Cosmic Kids for the littles, and if I get up earlier I will do other yoga videos).
- Language Arts & math for my 2nd grader. My preschooler works on activity books which include coloring, connect-the-dots or letter and number identification. He can also have free play time during this time if he chooses.
- Outside Play Time. Thankfully, we have a backyard swing set and slide. Sometimes the kids ride their bikes.
- Free play quiet time (no screens).
- Science or piano or art
- Screen time (We try to do educational activities and then give them some free screen time).
- Outside, weather permitting
- Baths & get ready for bed
- Stories (We are reading Charlie & the Chocolate Factory with P, and Harry Potter 6 with M).
- Goodnight! zzzz (Maintaining the same bedtime we had before).
The weather was nice over the weekend, so we went hiking one day and for a family bike ride the next. We rode along the W. Eugene wetlands and saw lots of ducks and geese, two red-winged blackbirds, a hummingbird, sandpiper cranes, and a great blue heron. There weren’t too many people around, so it was easy to maintain a 6 foot distance.
Another thing I’m trying to do is maintain some sort of housekeeping schedule. Sure, it’d be great to get a bunch of deep cleaning done. And maybe we will. But as I adjust to this situation, I’m just trying to maintain a basic level of cleanliness:
- Make beds (daily)
- Dishes (daily)
- Laundry & put away (daily)
- Sanitize kitchen sink (daily-ish)
- Sweep kitchen floor (daily)
- Wipe down kitchen counters (daily)
- Clean bathroom (weekly)
- Vacuum (weekly)
- Clean up toys in living room (daily)
- Investigate bad smells (as needed – ha!)
- Clean mirrors (weekly. My kids enjoy doing this. I use a non-toxic vinegar and water mix).
There are many other potential housekeeping projects we could work on. Too numerous and overwhelming to list. However, my strategy for tackling those kinds of overwhelming decluttering projects is to just pick a spot to work on for 20 minutes. But for now, I’m giving myself a pass on that.
How to make time for self-care while on lockdown with kids? This is a tricky one, but as this season pushes most of us to the edge (or beyond) of our ability to cope, self-care is essential. I’ve been trying to do my own yoga videos and go for runs a couple of times a week while my hubby watches the kids. I’m also enforcing a consistent bedtime for the kids, so that I have a little bit of free time before I go to bed. Usually I just use that time to write in my journal. I need to get some new books to read.
And, squeezing in time to write these blog posts is an important form of self-care for me. Writing helps me to process my feelings, and it also leaves us with a record of an unprecedented experience.
Lastly, spending time in prayer is helping me. Rather than just continuing to talk to my husband about this crisis, and speculate as to how much worse things will get, I’m trying to focus on praying through my concerns. Praying is better than worrying and complaining.
During our bike ride on Sunday, I noticed a piece of graffiti on the railroad bridge. It was just one word, “Relentless.” That word could speak a lot of things to different people, but what immediately sprang to my mind was, “Be relentless in the pursuit of hope.”
In a time that feels hopeless, be relentless in the pursuit of hope.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
We have a future beyond this pandemic. These times may feel threatening, but we will make it through to the other side.
P.S. If you’re also on lockdown, what are you doing to stay busy? How are you practicing self-care right now?