Stacy Baugues, PowerUp Fitness
Over the last thirty days, a lot has changed across the country, in our communities, and right here at home. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted each of us in a different way and it’s safe to say, we’re all still adjusting to this new normal.
A common challenge families face is finding the balance between working with kids at home, time for homeschooling or activities, and keeping everyone entertained all within the four walls we call home. So, whether your square footage is 800 or 2800, we’re sharing our “Solutions for the Stir Crazy” in hopes of helping you find your own sense of balance amid the uncertainty.
Follow a Routine, Not a Schedule
Social media has been flooded with some beautiful color coordinated, perfectly time blocked daily schedules. While those may work for some, the pressure of a formal schedule can feel daunting for those of us still adjusting to this new normal — especially with things changing from day to day. Our suggestion? Follow a routine, not a schedule.
I’m sharing our daily routine below, but it’s important to establish an at-home routine that works specifically for you and your family. We don’t put a hard start/stop time on things, but we keep it consistent every weekday and that consistency is key.
Get Dressed – You don’t have to dress for the office, but the transition from nightwear to daywear is mindset shift for all of us, kids included.
Family Time – During this quarantine, we’ve started our day with extra family time. Sometimes its coffee with a side of Sesame Street, other days it’s coloring and story time. It’s been a nice reminder of what’s most important.
Work Time/School Time – We’ve all had to shift our work hours and work habits to accommodate being at home with the whole family and the new responsibilities that come along with that. For my partner and I, we’ve spilt our workdays so that one of us can be in “parent in charge” mode and the other can be 100% focused on work, with a role shift post lunch. This way, I know I can schedule virtual meetings, calls, and have uninterrupted work time through the first part of the day. Keeping this consistent work time has allowed me to:
- Schedule work meetings and projects a several weeks out— I’m instilling a sense of “normalcy”
- Manage my own workload and daily expectations — I’m tackling my to-do list but also know when to step away for the day
- Work more efficiently — I’ve been more hyper-focused on how I use my time
We have lunch together as a family – a silver lining of social distancing – and then we switch roles.
Parent/Daughter Time – We each have our own routine during our “parent in charge” time with our two-year old daughter, who would usually be in childcare Monday-Friday. But we both include:
- Outside time – whether it’s on our porch or going for a walk. On rainy days, we’ll play in the long hallway outside of our condo door, just for a change of scenery.
- Educational time – reading stories together, coloring, puzzles, or crafts. With older kids, this is where we would focus on their assigned schoolwork.
- Physical activity – my daughter and I will do one of our PowerUp Peanuts Classes The lessons combine movement and learning, with things like Shape Jumps and Alphabet Games, they get us both active and having fun. For families with kids in grades K-8, our PowerUp Your School classes do the same thing!
A few other ways to maintain some sanity during this difficult time:
Find some alone time! I’m trying to wake up before the rest of my household. Even just 30 minutes alone with coffee in the morning or catching up on a favorite show at night gives you time to decompress and have a mini-getaway, even while at home.
Anyone else losing their patience a little faster than usual? Communication is key, with your kids, with a partner, and virtually, with loved ones. During our morning family time, my spouse and I will share important work details, “I have a conference call at 9 am,” for example, to ensure there are no interruptions that could create frustration. With our daughter, it’s a little more challenging given that she just turned two. This is where our consistent routine is key, she knows what to expect and usually when to expect it, helping minimize tantrum-inducing situations. With our loved ones, we’re FaceTiming regularly and even had a Zoom birthday party for our daughter last weekend. Do your best to stay connected.
Finally, find a way to get moving! The clinically proven benefits of physical activity for stress management, depression, anxiety, and of course, our overall health are undeniable. If you’re looking for ways to get moving, PowerUp Fitness has free, at-home family fitness classes, along with exercises and activities for kids age 2-13, on our website: powerupfitness.net/athome.
For families wanting even more, we’re now offering PowerUp Parent Packs for our PowerUp Peanuts (ages 2-5) and PowerUp Your School (K-8) programs. These packs include 6 weeks of easy-to-use fitness lessons for movement and learning, 100s of activity combinations, and access to our exercise and game library, no additional equipment needed. As a member of the MomSource Network, use code MOMSOURCE to get 10% off any of our Parent Packs! Click here to check out our PowerUp Parent Packs!