Updated: Aug 5, 2020
Like most people, I was watching the news and was concerned about the Coronavirus and how it was affecting people in Europe. I was naive in thinking that I would not be touched. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that our whole nation would shut down and be asked to “shelter in place”.
BUT it did, and like you, I was scared and anxious. In the weeks that I was sheltering in place, I had to learn my new "normal". I found a silver lining. Here is what I learned from being in a “shelter in place”.
Children thrive on schedules: When the kids found out that they hand no school and no activities, they thought it was awesome! With no routine or structure, I saw an increase in fighting, whining, and big emotions. I quickly put together a snack, educational, free play, and structured activity. The schedule was color-coded so that even the non-readers could understand its cadence. It took the kids three days to settle into a routine, and a week and a half to flourish. Don't get me wrong. Kids are kids; they still fought and whined and needed help expressing their own emotions. The kids knew what was coming and when. They had freedom within a structure that allowed them to blossom.
A grounding morning routine sets a mindset for the rest of the day: I'm a wife, a mom, a boss, and a business partner. On a given day, my team and children know what to do independently (schedules and task lists, are AMAZING). When there is a new problem or, in this case, a disaster I could not go more than three minutes without a call or someone needing something from me. I found that a grounding morning routine allowed me to fill my tank, which would enable me to help others more fully. My morning routine included studying, writing, or exercising.
A calming nighttime routine set for a good morning routine: Before the “shelter in place” I had a relaxing nighttime routine. When we moved to “shelter in place”, I took to binge-watching tv, snacking, and enjoying a glass of wine. I defended that I needed this time. But in reality, I woke up tired the next morning. Life is balance. A night of binge-watching tv here and there is excellent, but don't allow a bad habit to ruin your next day!
Slow down to do more: Three kids activities and Bay Area traffic can be a lot. Going to
karate 2 nights a week and soccer 3 nights a week, boy scouts twice a month. I thought my schedule was light; I felt like I was doing my kids a disservice by not putting them in more activities. Here is what I have realized: we were doing activities out of fear that I was not providing them with enough stimulation. However, all I was doing was overly stretching them. Now that they have the time to be bored, they have spent more time learning, exploring, and playing. At night, they are calmer and happier. I'm not worried about how much we are paying for the activities or getting dinner on the table on time. I'm less stressed. I have more time to cuddle, to listen, to play.
Being prepared is my duty to my family and my community: I thought I was ready, and I was, to some degree, but I could have done better. Moving forward, my family has decided to work towards having a better emergency plan, whether it be for a job loss, a natural disaster, or this. I will be sharing my journey so make sure to sign up for our weekly letter!
Friends help, be a better friend: I am blessed with great friends, but I forget to reach out and check-in. I did that more during the “shelter in place” and something that I will work on.
Life is too short; do what you love: Do what you love and love what you do. Don't wait, set up your goals, and take action!
Sometimes we are given a blessing in disguise, and I hate even typing that because so many people lost their lives, and my heart goes out to their family and friends. Businesses were devastated and had to permanently close their doors because of this disaster. The Coronavirus was not their fault. I will not allow these people’s loss to go without merit. I will use this horrible situation to grow and to become a better person. I hope you will too.