If you are quarantined or self-isolating due to coronavirus, you may be feeling alone right now — but know that we are right here with you. Any stress or anxiety may be experiencing is perfectly normal. It’s difficult to avoid feeling down at a time like this but try to focus on ways you can stay connected, both with yourself and others.
Not only is it important to keep the kids learning and entertained during social distancing, but it's also important to ensure they still feel social in some way. Here are five tools kids and parents can use during quarantine to remain connected and social.
Connect With Others
SAMHSA says, “Reaching out to people you trust is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety, depression, loneliness, and boredom during the quarantine.”
Picking up the phone. Call, text, or email your best friend or a close family member. Hear what’s going on in their lives and if you want to talk about the news, a fresh perspective could help. Reading the newspaper or listening to the radio. Just limit your news intake if it becomes overbearing. Talking “face to face” using Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, or another platform. Watching movies and reading books. Give yourself a little mental escape from the real world. Even though they may not be next to you, your friends and family are with you in spirit and pulling for you and your well-being. Try to make the best of the situation by focusing on how you can look at each day with hope and positivity.
Many of the places and organizations that were previously providing your child with access to extracurricular activities are now moving to an online platform. This gives your child the chance to see beloved teachers, maintain skills, have fun, and see classmates.
We have seen options from organizations like Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, karate studios, dance studios, yoga studios, cooking schools, art studios, gyms, Sunday School, and so much more. This is also a nice option for establishing routine and continuity which can be comforting and reassuring for children.
If not being able to run through a workout routine with a trainer or workout buddy is driving you crazy, one of the things you can do is look through workout routines on YouTube. Whether you’re looking for yoga, aerobics, Pilates, or weightlifting, there’s something there. You may even be able to find live sessions so that you can have a communal experience. Or put a path around the front yard for kids to ride bikes, scooters, etc. Let the kids do exercise as well.
Create Fun, New Ways To Interact With Friends And Family
Social media has become a lifeline for many of us. You’ve probably noticed that people who swore off Facebook are now more active than ever. What’s cool is that we’re starting to use social platforms in more creative and genuine ways. From dance classes to DJ sets, live Storytime sessions to virtual tours, we’re discovering unique ways to stay connected and engaged.
It is a huge proponent of creative communication methods in a time of crisis because pulling away from the people we love, and trust will only make the situation harder to manage.
You could start a virtual movie or book club. The online play options in video games are wonderful for this sort of thing. Musicians are doing live-streamed concerts increasingly. I’m a big proponent of whatever makes you feel like you’re doing something with a bunch of other people even if you’re not together. Shared experiences forge the bonds that keep us together.
Kids are very clever and imaginative. If you need inspiration as you’re trying to come up with new ways to spend time with loved ones while the stay-at-home order is in place, look to them.
Make Time For A New Hobby
If there’s ever anything you wanted to do that you didn’t have time for, now’s your chance. If you wanted to learn how to knit or crochet or make models, now is the time. I got this realistic baseball management video game and I’ve concluded that while everyone is an armchair manager, it’s harder than it looks.
This is just the start of a million things that can be done to make us all feel a little more human and stay connected during this time so that we can not only stay safe but stay sane as well.