We don't just want to survive these days, we want to live and thrive. Here's what I've got gathered in my head so far:
1. Get dressed in the morning, like you are going somewhere, even if you are not.
I learned this from FlyLady. "Get dressed to the shoes," she says. And she's right. It's a psychological gift you give yourself that seems to say, "I matter. This day matters. Let's do this."
2. Draw/Write a schedule for yourself.
We literally draw boxes (or blocks) of time and plan our day out. We started out doing this every day when Nash was about 4. It was such a rescue. He began to transition much better and even June was enjoying seeing what the day would
hold. As he grew and started kindergarten, we found he didn't need the routine drawn out every day, but on long breaks, his behavior began to escalate again.
We would pull out our dry erase
board, draw out the day, and it always seemed to help.
So in these times of uncertainty and extended time away from a regular rhythm of actually going to school, you better believe I have been drawing our day out in blocks of time. And no, it's not fancy, see today's >>
It's not about whether or not you have chosen to continue schooling or have a grand plan for the day. It's simply blocks of time- playtime, lunch time, tv time, etc.
3. Use your phone for phone calls.
Commit to turning your phone off for one hour a day. Don't check the news all the time. Don't be on social media all the time. You don't need to lose your soul.
Some boundaries for yourself are healthy. I recently got an actual newspaper subscription. As the never-ending-news bombarded me over the weekend and into this week, I decided I knew enough for now. I didn't check the news once on Wednesday. When the paper came Thursday, it had all the news I needed to know about the virus. Treat your phone like an object you own, not a best friend that must be with you at all times. Use your phone for good- play scrabble online with your elderly neighbor, call people and actually talk- not text- them. Order a bag of coffee beans delivered to your door from your favorite local coffee shop that is losing thousands of dollars a day (I may or may not be doing this tomorrow.)
How will you put some boundaries on your phone? Or on the amount of news and social media you input everyday? Especially right now? Do you need to turn off your phone the moment you finish this post? Possibly. Should you share it first? Yes, possibly.
4. Solitude and Silence
Every entity in our world is clamoring for your attention online. It's informative and it's destructive, it's essential and it's a distraction, it's comforting and it's stressful. Churches are sharing anxiety-reducing prayers, educational websites are offering online lessons, businesses are calling for your support-- all online. Not to mention the news- and we all want to keep up with the news online as it unfolds literally by the minute. We are all told to stay home for the most part- to keep 6 feet distance, limit groups to 10, and limit travel to essential places. No going to work, no going to the gym, plays, PTA meetings, or church.
If our time is suddenly very free- let's do something remarkable- be free. Be free from noise and distraction and practice an hour of silence- or even just 15 minutes. Be free from your [kids] constant companionship and go for an hour walk by yourself- without headphones! Calm the noise down in your head and your heart will thank you for it. Your body will literally inhale deeply like you've been holding your breath without knowing it.
5. Get the One-Minute Pause App
Once a day, or even twice, pause and say, "I give everything and everyone to you God." This free app is put out by Wild At Heart. It is vital.
What are you doing to thrive right now? Do you have essential soul care items you would add to this list?
Here's a snapshot of those first 6 weeks of the Pandemic for the Barrett Household:
Virtual workouts with the Y
Governor issues stay-at-home orders
A crazy lady walks into my neighbors house and says "We're all going to be okay" and proceeds to take a shower in their bathroom. They run to my house and the Police are called.
June's depiction of the virus
Facetime with Family
June's bookclub with classmates
A rainbow of hope over our blue house on the corner. This rainbow said, 'It won't always be like this.'