There is no doubt that the COVID-19 global pandemic has taken a toll on the world. Every country, every sector, and of course, every home can testify to the fact that it has not been easy. Media coverage has clued us in as to how countries and certain industries have been coping during this time. But the family unit is out of the public eye and equally getting hit in more ways than one.
But if there’s one thing about the human race that’s constant, it’s our ability to adapt and find ways to thrive. Based on that, it’s important to seek out ways to keep you and your loved ones stimulated during these gloomy times. Mental health management is just as important as the physical aspect in these times, so here’s how to stay on top of that.
- Play Active Games
Family game time is definitely going to become a necessity in the days to come. Even though things are eventually easing up, it’s not completely advisable to be out and about. Seeing as the virus is not a respecter of age, or anything else, it’s wise to stay at home as much as possible. But staying at home is no license to spend every single day laying around in bed or on the couch.
Board games are a good way to pass time, but it’s equally important to load up on some physical activity. This is the time to use that backyard, anything from a good old game of catch to shadow tag is alright. Even past times like skipping go a long way to get that heart rate up. If the great outdoors is not particularly to the taste of you and your young’ uns then try some active video games. If you’ve got a Wii, then whip that out and move around in your living room.
You can equally explore other games that get you up and moving together. Not only does it ensure that you stay active, but family fun time does not suffer either.
- Pick Designated Activities Outside the House
Seeing as going outside is not safe at the moment, it’s alright if you’re a bit wary about it. But now that restrictions have loosened up a bit, wandering around away from the house is not out of the question. You can go on walks with your kids, just to give them a little bit of activity and let them take a breath of fresh air (from under their masks of course).
There’s still a lot to be learned about how the virus can be caught outdoors. But, if you follow the laid down guidelines, you all should be alright. Other activities you can indulge in within reason are cycling, hikes, nature walks. Simply look out for areas that do not have that much traffic, because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You don’t have to be a professional dancer to enjoy a good old dance session with the family. It’s not just fun, but it’s a great way to get that heart rate up. The great thing about this is that you’re in a safe space with your family. So, if you make a fool of yourself, it doesn’t really matter. Encourage your little ones to get on board, regardless of how little or big they are.
As much as it’s a fun activity, it’s a great way to trick them into staying active. So, do what you need to do, display your own embarrassing mum or dad moves, simply encourage them to get on board.
Rather than spending every waking moment glued to the TV, you need to look for ways to keep everyone’s minds occupied. Reading is great on a number of levels, not only does it keep the mind active but it’s a great way to travel. As a family, the dynamics of how to travel during lockdown may be a bit too much at the moment.
But, through the pages of books, you and your little ones have the chance to venture further than any plane can take you. Reading can practically save your sanity during this pandemic. As mentioned earlier, it can be a means to escape, and studies have even shown that it even improves the quality of sleep.
Even better is the fact reading goes a long way to reduce stress, which is something both old and young experience during this time. At the end of the day, this is the best time to really get your kids hooked on reading. So, reduce that screen time and set up a system for them to read a book in a stipulated period of time.
- Social Contact
Not being able to go to school, to work, to hang out with friends is bound to take its toll on just about everyone. Your toddlers will feel it, your teens and tweens will feel it too. So, you really need to look for ways to expose them to some sort of social contact once in a while. Stay in contact with your friends and relatives using social media, the phone, and other remote means. In the same way, ensure that your kids get their fill too. Let them give their friends a call, put them in touch with cousins, grandparents, and any other important fixtures in their life.
Social connections during this time are as important as social distancing and it can go a long way to reduce stress and anxiety. Once the mind is hale and hearty in these times, every other thing follows suit. So, staying safe should not be an excuse to lock everyone out.
- Give the Days Structure
It’s easy to feel lost and to equally get lost in what’s happening. These are, of course, trying times and just being alive and somewhat well is an achievement. Nevertheless, it’s hard to really stay afloat on some occasions. The thing is, as a family if one part of the unit is down, the entire unit is down. Based on that, it’s important to ensure that you have structure both for you, your partner, and your kids. If you want to keep everyone from falling into a dark hole, then getting up and doing something is important.
Even if you all can’t go to school, work, or various social engagements at the moment, look for new ways to stay engaged. Some of the things mentioned above could really contribute to making your days together more wholesome until things pick up once again. Sure, there are days that you won’t feel up to it, and it’s alright to have off days. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to stay on top of things so no one’s thoughts get the best of them.
The truth of the matter is that things may take some time to fully ease up. It’s hard to imagine but we must do our best with the cards we’ve been dealt with. During this time, physical and mental wellbeing is more important than ever. So, don’t hold back when looking for ways to stay on top of this. The points above are just a nudge in the right direction if you want to find ways to keep morale up. You can equally seek out other ways that are more suited to you and your family. At the end of the day, it’s what works for you that should fly.
This is a contributed post and therefore may not reflect the views and opinions of this blog or its author.