Last month we said goodbye to life as we know it as the reality of the COVID-19 lockdown came into full effect. No more daycare or school, commuting to the office or dinner with friends, and Friday night post-work drinks, family brunches and weekend getaways became a distant memory. You know the story all too well, we’re sure.
We now find ourselves confined by the walls of our homes with our mandatory daily exercise or grocery outing breaking up the day. With none of the comfort of our usual weekly routines (which we’ll never again take for granted), it’s easy to find oneself feeling destabilized and at a loss to know how to structure each day.
When you throw children into the mix it all gets even harder. Trying to entertain, educate, and reassure their little minds and busy bodies in these ever-changing times makes routines even harder to build yet all the more important. But one thing we know (or that we’re reminding ourselves of daily) is this:
We are capable, resilient, and creative human beings. We will get through this.Tweet
Most of us have had at least a week (if not longer) in this new way of life and with no end in sight it might be time to implement some routines to help shape this wild world we find ourselves in. We’re sharing our top tips below but we’d love to know what’s working for you and your family in the comments below!
Top Tips for Building New Routines As A Family
- Bend don’t break: First and most importantly, don’t make any new routine too regimented. Outline your schedule and give it a try but if you find it’s not working for you or your kids, be ready to adapt. Don’t feel disheartened if your best laid plans fall apart on day one; simply adjust and try again the next day.
- Have a team meeting: If your kids see you working from home, use that to put a spin on dinnertime chats to work out your new routines. Have a ‘team meeting’ with everyone in your household to involve them where possible. Start a conversation with your kids and your partner to get everyone’s input then write out the day’s or week’s schedule and put in a place where everyone can easily see it so you all know the plan.
- Don’t forget the importance of circadian rhythms: No work commutes or school day prep means we can all sleep in a little longer right? That’s a big YES from us… but (you knew that was coming)… only so much. Maintaining a similar morning routine is really important for circadian rhythm regulation (which plays a key role in keeping everyone happy and healthy). Make sure everyone wakes up at a reasonable hour, has a good breakfast, and gets dressed (even if it’s just from PJs to fresh sweats!). The same applies to the evenings — try and maintain the same hours your body clock is used to.
- Schedule a shake out: Make time each day for physical activity where your kids (and you) can release pent up energy in a safe space — whether that’s for a walk outside, a living room dance party, or an in-home workout (see here for a kid-friendly Baby2Body workout!). You’ll find that everyone’s mood and concentration improves after getting a chance to move your body and get some fresh air.
- The cleaning can wait: Having a clean, clutter-free space can help you feel more focused and productive, but trying to keep everything tidy while everyone’s home on lockdown will be a never-ending and futile endeavor. Instead, try implementing an end of day power-cleaning session that gets everyone involved. Turn on your favorite playlist and a 20-minute timer at the end of the day, everyone take a room and clean up what you can — once the timer stops let the rest be! Because there’s always tomorrow…
- Celebrate mealtime: Never before have we relied on mealtimes more to give us some sense of structure and normality. They offer a natural way to break up the day, giving you a dedicated time where your family can sit down and enjoy being with each other. Making a moment out of meals is also a good way to share responsibilities with your kids. Simple meals they can help prepare like smoothies, homemade pizzas, and tacos are a great way to get them involved.
- Alone time is still important: Speaking of being with each other… it’s also really important to make sure you have structured time apart — that goes for you and your partner, you and your kids, and siblings from each other; we all need our space in this lockdown life. Plan for a daily 30 to 60-minute alone time session where everyone can get a bit of quiet space just to themselves.
- Don’t forget the most important thing of all: No one knows how the **** to handle this whole situation, but we’re all in it together (even from a safe, social distance).
In light of being in this together, remember that the Baby2Body Squad is our private Facebook group created to give you a safe space to connect and support with other women from all over the world. If you haven’t joined already, be sure to check it out today.