Healthy Family Time Management During Isolation
It can be challenging when everybody’s gathered more often than “normal” under one roof! While there is beauty in being together, there are certainly challenges as work and school continue for most of us. I get that every family’s situation is very different, and what will work for us may not work for you, but I’m happy to share a few tips I hope will help you stay happy (and sane!) through this uncertain time.
#1 Let It Go
While I believe in routine and creating a schedule (which I will get to further down in this post), because of this unique situation we’re all in, be willing to LET IT GO! It’s a lot to run your household, home school your kids, keep up with relationships, meal plan, etc., all while dealing with the stress of COVID-19. Yes, it’s great to create a plan and have a schedule, but be willing to throw it out on days it doesn’t work for you. Give yourself a break, and be willing to change the way you get work done.
So, if you’re at your breaking point teaching your three kids three different subjects all at once while prepping lunch and trying to work on your own business – call it! For the mental health of everyone in your family, take the day off. The work will get done eventually. Kids who were on track to pass the grade are passing anyway. It doesn’t mean sit on the couch and watch movies every day, but be gentle as possible with your planning. Embrace this time with your kids! Take time to just be with them, not accomplishing any task or “to-do”. We will likely (hopefully) never have another time like this with them ever again. So throw the schedule out, and go for a family walk!
#2: Say NO
Let’s be honest – It’s a lot right now. You’re planning activities to keep your kids busy, finding ways to safely get groceries, meal planning, staying connected with friends…not to mention an overwhelming amount of news and information to keep up with. So, say NO to the things that don’t serve you, and do so with zero guilt! What each person needs in this situation is going to differ. I know you want to support local shops, but if your funds don’t allow for it, don’t. It doesn’t mean you’re a crappy friend if you don’t complete the pushup challenge or family dance-off you were tagged in on IG Story. If you have time and it makes you happy, by all means do it! But, don’t feel pressure to participate in everything. It’s way too much. Put the needs of your family first.
It’s so important to keep the lines of communication open. Hold a family check-in once a day to see how everyone is doing. There may be challenges you had no idea existed. This is a great time to chat openly about what’s working and what isn’t, and to make some tweaks.
#4: Set Goals
Long term goals are effective, but in this new normal, short term will be most beneficial. Have a couple personal and/or family every couple days. Write them down. This is a great way to be efficient and effective during this time
#5 Keep a Visual of The Plan
It’s important that everyone is on the same page every day. Decide on a plan each night for the next day and write it out (on a whiteboard or chalkboard), easy for everyone to consult. It’s a great way to keep everyone respecting what each family member needs or is doing that day.
#6: Schedule Time To Schedule
This is a practice I swear by in normal life, and it applies to now too. Set aside a couple of hours a week to go over the schedule moving forward. The more planning you do ahead of time, the easier things will be in the moment. Meal plan, get the kid’s activities and school work set for the week, make sure you have all the necessary materials for the crafts, etc. Whatever you need to focus on to set yourself up for success!
I always work from home, so I get that it’s easy to become distracted. You feel like you’re so busy, but sometimes, nothing really gets done because you’re bouncing from thing to thing. Setting timers helps me in a big way. For example, I’m going to clean my kitchen. It takes twice as long to do that if I’m checking my phone every ten minutes or getting distracted with another to-do in another room of the house. Set your timer for 45 minutes (or however long you think it will take you to clean the kitchen), and for that 45 minutes you’re not allowed to look at your phone, or go to another room of the house. Trust me – you’ll get way more accomplished this way!
Decide what your non-negotiables are and stick to them. I refuel by having alone time. That’s tough to achieve when everyone is home. So, as a family, we decided that most days I will walk the dogs. This is a chance for me to get out of the house and be by myself (away from other humans, anyway!). For you, it might be exercise or something else. Figure out a way to still get what you need so you’re the best you can be for your family. Create an environment that will set your family up for success!
Photos: Dallas Curow Photography
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below. Watch my Facebook Live hosted by my friends at The Creative Hive, where I break down each tip on this list.
Don’t forget to pin this to your Family Scheduling and Surviving Isolation boards and follow me on Pinterest here!
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