With so many events being canceled and school/work closures, a lot of us are finding we have an abundance of time on our hands these days. This is a big change even for our homeschool family. I mean, the library is closed, people. That’s pretty much my social life. Actually, that’s a complete joke, but we can get to that in another post.
This post is from me, the introvert, to help you make the most of canceled plans. I’m really good at this, guys. So if you are freaking out about all this time at home, I got you, boo.
I also want to note that there is no pressure here. There are no expectations you have to live up to during this ridiculously weird season we are going through. This is simply meant as an encouragement to be intentional about how you use your time, to control the parts we can control and let go of those we can’t.
Get Some Rest
The biggest problem with our overstretched lives is the lack of sleep. It messes with you.
- It’s bad for your heart
- It makes you more error-prone
- It can give you junk food cravings
- There is a link between lack of sleep and dementia
So make sure you get some rest and then work on getting yourself on a schedule that allows you to get the sleep you need every night. That might mean you have to make some decisions to drop things in your life once things start returning to normal. This is the perfect time to think through those things. Because catching up on the weekend doesn’t cut it.
In our day-to-day busyness, things get pushed to the back burner. Tidying up or decluttering is one of the first things that goes for myself. I only have so much mental bandwidth and the things I’m not good at are the first to go. Unfortunately with clutter, this usually backfires because then the clutter makes me feel more anxious as I see all the things I need to be doing. Then I get overwhelmed and shut down and things get worse instead of better. It’s a vicious cycle I’ve been working on the last few years.
If that is something you relate to or you just need a good declutter session, prioritize that this week. It will help your home feel better. There is actual science that connects clutter with anxiety and depression. Give yourself the gift of good mental health.
The statistics for just how much time families spend together at home these days is pretty abysmal. The latest statistic I saw was from 2018 and said that with everything we have going on, American families spend an average of 37 minutes of quality time together on weekdays. Use your cancelled plans to up your family’s average.
- Eat meals together. Make it a point to have at least one meal each day where everyone puts their screens away and you all sit down at a table or just in the same room. Then talk. Talk about things you would like to do as a family when all of this chaos blows over. Brainstorm ideas for things you could do after the meal. This doesn’t have to be dinner, if mornings are better for you all to slow down together, then do breakfast or cook a brunch together.
- Put a puzzle together. Don’t have one? Order one from Amazon (check out these options!).
- Play a board or card game.
Don’t let yourself get caught in a sedentary routine while social distancing. Be intentional about moving your body. If you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, get up and stretch. Get outside if you can. Fresh air and sunshine are great for your immune system and mental health.
If you can’t get outside, check out YouTube for exercise videos. There is a whole slew of people who have created various workouts, including dance routines to popular songs. If you need something more structured, sign up for a service like Beachbody on Demand and give one of their programs a try.
I’m a fan of goal setting, it’s no secret. Now is a great time to think about where your life is heading and see if you are happy with that. Think about areas of frustration and see what you can do to walk towards change. Think about what brings you joy and see if you can make more of that happen in your life. If life has brought you a separation from things that you thought you couldn’t live without, think about how you want to move forward when you have access to that again.
Making the most of your canceled plans is just a matter of priorities, take a look at what you really need to accomplish and then get to it. Now, if you happen to have kids at home suddenly and you don’t know what to do with them because they are all up in your face (trust me, I GET IT) or you are thinking of giving homeschooling a trial run since the schools are already closed, I can help you with that too. Just look for my next posts.