Like the majority of the US, I'm homebound for two weeks due to coronavirus social distancing precautions. And I don't know if this will enrage you or give you hope, but I'm secretly liking it and thought I might share what I’m doing to survive thrive while working from home with my working husband and three young kids.
Sure the kids are into everything and watching too much TV already, but this weekend I have done a LOT around my house and it just feels so good to check some things off the list. Specifically, I'm taking this opportunity to rearrange, declutter, and add some pretty touches throughout my home...in addition to all of the cleaning. And let's not forget to mention that toilet training my almost three year old is also on the docket. Sigh...doing it on such a whim feels crazy, but it's kind of a golden opportunity!
How to Survive Being Homebound While Working
FACE NATURE: Set up a workspace that faces a window. Even if it's just a folding or card table. You have no idea how good it feels to look at the world as you work, until you look work by a window. If this is distracting, turn your table at a 90 degree angle so the window is at your side.
ADD SOMETHING PRETTY: If you have some clippings from your yard, put them in a vessel (even a drinking glass will do) and pop it on your desk, along with a favorite small object to bring a bit of beauty to your work area. You'll love the way this feels.
GO OUTSIDE: Take a break for 5 minutes every hour if possible, and go outside in the fresh air. There’s no judgement from your coworkers when you take these NECESSARY breaks. Fresh air has been shown to be a disinfectant and sunshine boosts the mood. Do it on the hour, every hour you work.
How to Survive Being Homebound Generally
CREATE A FLOW: Just as you would have different activities during a regular week, set up alarms or reminders on your phone for different activities. Family yoga at 9:30, Homeschooling at 10:15, Lunch at 12, Kids Outside from 1-2 and Watching TV from 2-4 pm, so parents can work? Sounds good to me. Maybe it won’t be that exact, but some sort of framework will create a feeling of calm for yourself and family.
GET OUT: While you might be avoiding stores and people, nothing should keep you from getting out of your house. We haven’t been quarantined from the great outdoors! As someone that enjoys having a place to go every day, I plan to give myself a place to go every morning, then walk to it. Outside of a massage, this is the best kind of appointment I can imagine!
TREAT YOURSELF: I really hope you have a box of brownie mix or the ingredients to whip up a little something special for yourself every night after dinner. Dramatically call the family in for a toast of milk or whatever you’re drinking before you get into bed and say, “We did it! Cheers to chocolate and another day lived without murder!” LOL! But really...
SET THE VIBE: Match the same vibe of a place you like to go--the coffee shop, a favorite boutique, etc.--simply by turning on your Google Home's or Alexa to a Spotify or Pandora station called "coffee house music" or "boutique hotel music". Only do this for a set amount of hours, so you don't "stay too" long at the coffee shop, I mean your kitchen.
IMPROVE ONE SPOT: Been meaning to reorganize your attic? Tackle it now, if possible! I dare you to calculate the hours you’re not spending running errands, on a soccer field, or commuting and try to convince me you shouldn’t be tackling a small home improvement project. Some ideas: -Switch the artwork between rooms -Change out accent pillows on your sofa -Bust out your spring sheets -Vacuum behind your sofa or under your bed -Rearrange some furniture in your living room -Pull the furniture off the walls!!! -Try out a new center piece of some kind on your dining table -Organize your linen closet -Pare down your bookcase and pop in some small photo frames where those to-be-donated books once were -Make a focal point in your entry by hanging a large piece of art at eye level on the first wall you see -Pop a faux floral on the back of your toilet so you momentarily forget about the current TP situation… I could keep going, but you get the idea.
How to Survive Being Homebound With Kids
INVOLVE YOUR KIDS: Is there anything your kids want to change about their rooms or your home? Get their input and create a plan for the future if the changes can’t be accomplished while you’re homebound. Also, this is a great opportunity to get the kids involved in house work, if they aren’t already doing it. Give a toddler a spray bottle of water and put him or her in front of a window with a towel. You've bought yourself at least 10 minutes. Older kids are totally capable of dusting a room or sorting laundry. Don’t let them off the hook while you do all of the work! I recently taught my 7 year old how to do a load of laundry and I’m pretty excited to have her help out with it in the coming weeks.
EMBRACE THE OUTDOORS: Unless it’s terrible weather where you are, make sure your kids get outside for at least 30 minutes a day. It’s recommended that kids get 60 minutes of physical exercise each day and I can promise you will feel the effect of it if they don’t get that exercise. If you can
BOOK A DAY: What’s better than curling up with your kids to read a bedtime story, knowing you don’t have to do the get-out-the-door-rush tomorrow? Make sure you’re reading at least one book a day to your kids!
BE A FUN PARENT: Do something fun every day with your kids even if it’s just for 30 minutes. They don’t stay small forever, and being at home without school is basically all their dreams coming true, so why not be a part of fond memories by focusing on the good aspects of the situation? Try one of these activities with your kids every day: board game, walk, playing hide and go seek, painting pictures, making cookies.
Please share your tips in the comments (or email them to Hello@contentedInteriors.com) and I’ll add them to the post!