With a new normal to navigate, one thing we all have in common is that we’re learning to reconnect and maneuver together. Being in a college town and family-friendly destination, we see families reconnect in beautiful ways every day. But reconnecting during a trip or under normal circumstances is different from the social distancing and homebound reconnecting we’re currently adjusting to.
Things to Do With Your Family
We compiled some positive actions we have experienced and seen to help family reconnection during difficult circumstances.
1. TAKE CARE OF YOU
Whenever you fly on an airplane, you hear instructions to make sure your own mask is secure and that you are safely equipped before helping others during an emergency. This isn’t out of selfishness but so you are strong and well enough to care for your loved ones through the crisis.
The same idea applies here. Do what you need to do to stay menatally and physically healthy. Do a home workout daily, drink lots of water, wash your hands frequently, and take a few moments every morning for yourself. Making yourself a priority will give you the energy you need to serve others in this new capacity.
So many questions, emotions, and news to process for children and adults alike. Take the time to talk and listen to one another as a family.
Kids especially have very vivid imaginations that sometimes take them to fearful places. By giving them time and really listening, they will feel safe and share the things they are processing. If they share something that is outrageous in your mind, do not laugh or dismiss their thoughts, but instead, give them a positive and truthful response to replace a fearful, irrational one.
3. SPEAK TO CHILDREN WITH CONFIDENCE
In the eyes of your children, you are the standard by which they will base their reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re soothing and confident in your speech and actions, they will be reassured that everything is going to be okay. If you speak with fear or anger, their own anxieties will grow as their already shaky world feels less stable.
Find ways to talk with your kids that are both honest yet hopeful for the future. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know what is next or how this will all play out. But if they know that they are loved and cared for now and that you have hope for the future, they’ll have a much easier time.
4. FIND OR CREATE NORMALCY
Routine, if possible, is a good friend in the midst of crisis. Having some dependable things to look forward to every day gives a sense of stability. Working from home, homeschooling, and social distancing are all new concepts to most. Slowly finding a routine that works for everyone is worth the work.
It’s easy to fritter days away with no purpose or direction when you no longer have a calendar dictating your time. Although you don’t need to adhere to a strict routine, creating a rhythm to your day is a good way to remain healthy mentally.
5. GET OUTSIDE
One of the best and most healthy things you can do as a family is to make it a point to get outside every day. Do you have hikes you’ve been wanting to take as a family? Do it! Try a new yard game or take a walk around the neighborhood.
Ask your kids what they’ve been wanting to do or see. Make a bucket list and then cross items off!
As long as we stay focused and are proactive in our approach, we’ll come out on the other side of this reconnected and rejuvenated. Imagine a world where our families are stronger and closer because of this virus instead of more fragmented and disconnected. We’ve got this!