Oh Gosh! We’re back here again, aren’t we? Home based learning, house chores, work, cooking, juggling a zillion things...& trying to stay sane. Some countries have been in it for while, some are just getting into it. But we’re all feeling the same emotions. So, here are 10 seemingly banal tips that will make a world of difference if you’re in the same boat. Tried and tested.
1. Morning me time
I’ll be honest, I’m a night owl. But the 20 minutes of me time I have learnt to make for myself in the morning, before the chaos descends on me is a game changer. And during a lockdown, when you are stretched thin, it’s even more important. I make a cup of warm turmeric water, cuddle my dogs and think about the three most important things I’d like to accomplish on that day. Not 10, not 5, just 3. I don’t look at my phone, read few pages of a book, and water plants. I can’t tell you how calm and ready for the day this makes me feel.
2. When it comes to routine, familiar is often safe
I see folks establishing a “new routine”, pumping themselves up and saying “you’ve got this!” … and that’s great if embracing change is for you. But most of us are just trying to get by… So I find that sticking to the familiar works for us - with a few small changes. Don’t try to fix something that’s not broken. Just make it a tad more efficient. We’re all trying to carve out extra time to support more responsibilities. In some ways you’re also saving on all the socializing times. Rejig a bit and it might be a little less intimidating than trying to create a “whole new routine”.
3. Redesign work & play spaces
Doing everything on a dining table doesn’t cut it sometimes, it adds to the chaos. With two full time working parents and a child, the biggest fight at home was who gets to use the “study” which in itself was a makeshift work space. So this time, I upcycled and painted an old table, added a few peg boards and create a cozy, happy workspace for me in our bedroom. We also upcycled an old Ikea table and a couple of chairs for our son, so he could use that for his school work or sit down play activities. That can be moved from room to room, depending on who he is spending his time with. Dividing up the space between meal times, play time and work time kept us all sane. Added bonus- teaches kids to focus and compartmentalize.
Check out the deligthful upcycling store Big Blue Trunk, it’s where we get all our upcycling material and inspo!
4. Meal prep & meal themes for the win
This is the time to be practical. You can make healthy, simple meals without driving yourself crazy. Same base ingredients that become multiple meals, one pot meals, sheet pan meals, there are many hacks available. The one thing that makes it super easy for me is themes. Moong Dal Mondays, Thai Tuesdays, Whitefish Wednesdays etc… That way, we buy the same ingredients, we have a set menu and it runs like a well oiled machine. Saves you the thinking time, hello more mindspace!
I find this link here super useful for all meal hacks.
5. Structure your child’s day into bite sized play chunks
The biggest change for most of us with kids is having them at home instead of school. Outside of zoom calls for school, they still have tons of time and energy to expend. I found it very helpful to create chunks of time with different themes that then becomes a routine they start enjoying. After breakfast was lego or any sort of building time. After lunch was art time. After tea was garden time. Before dinner was reading time. All of these play chunks also have different spots in the house. This gives them a chance to free play within a set environment where stimulation has already been provided. And they’re not continously tugging at you for attention. It won’t work all the time, but it will work a lot of the time!
Follow us at @indigrowkids for Lockdown Loonies activities everyday
6. Move, please!
Dance, walk, cycle or just pop up a video on youtube and follow a 15 min exercise session - anything the floats your boat. Just move. It is so easy to cuddle up in your duvet and doom scroll or sink into Netflix. Don’t. Get up and move you’ll feel better for it. And I promise you, once you start doing it, you’ll feel so good, you won’t stop!
7. Play that funky Music 🎶
I cannot emphasize the importance of music during lockdown and honestly, even otherwise. A morning happy playlist really sets the mood of the day. An evening chill mix really calms you down when you’re at breaking point. There are so many instances when I’m about to snap, but, I’ve taken a deep breath, put on some music and just danced. I even have a “I’m productive” playlist. It takes 15 minutes to make these playlists and it’s a scientifically proven mood changer!
Here are a few indigrow songs you can download for free to add to your happy or chill mix! We sang it and recorded it ourselves. Yay!
8. Keepin’ up with the morale
It’s a strange thing, but keeping the happiness quotient alive and kicking at home can be exhausting! Do the easy peasy simple things. Light candles, get an essential oil diffuser going, make everybody dress up for dinner once a week, give hugs freely, cuddle, chat about nothing at all. These small actions of happiness will keep you sane.
Ollie Oils is a great little company to buy essential oils.
9. Be kind. Mostly to yourself.
It’s ok to not have it together all the time. Cut yourself some slack. I know it’s easier said than done, but remember, it’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time. Don’t be mean to yourself.
10. “Pooh, what’s the bravest thing you ever said?” asked Piglet. “Help”, said Pooh.
Lastly, ask for help. You cannot do this on your own. The whole team has got to show up. Your partner, your kids, other family members if you’re fortunate enough to have them around. Divide and conquer. That’s how we get through this.
Thanks for reading! Stay safe and healthy folks. See you on the other side.
This blog is the copyright of indigrow. indigrow makes delightful books, games & songs that help little ones all over the world discover the magical world of different cultures! Visit us at www.indigrowkids.com to check out all of our goodies!