While our nation is experiencing an epidemic, preventative care is taking place. And I’m ALL about preventative care for our health and safety.
But as a mom? That means we’re stuck inside for days (and some of us, weeks!) How do we survive our own version of fever? The dreaded…cabin fever! (dun dun DUN!)
If you’re like me and my boys, school has been canceled, your husband is going about his usual work schedule, you are having to put your obligations and ne
cessities outside of “momhood” on hold and your kids are looking at you for ideas of entertainment. You may even be a tad nervous to go to many places with crowds and "germaphobia" is quickly taking over your worries as you scroll through Instagram, Facebook or yahoo news.
Now, I’m all about my kids being bored and having to use their own imagination and creativity. In fact, I promote that so much, it's in my book to save help build their emotional strength and resilience. But, I mean, come on. This is days we’re talking about, not a few hours. The whines will be stronger and more frequent. The “I’m so hungry!” cries will be coming at you left and right, even though they LITERALLY just ate. And your house will be destroyed from top to bottom.
Here are a few tips to get through the Corona Virus (Ahem! Cabin Fever) while stuck at home!
Like many rough times in our lives whether it’s a tough day, a fight with a loved one or emotions of rejection and defeat, we must find acceptance. We have to accept that this is currently happening, and it is what it is.
I believe finding acceptance is the first step for all of life’s hardships and it typically is skipped over…leaving us feeling defeated more often.
Once you have found acceptance, and that could literally be you right now saying to yourself, “Welp! School is canceled and here we are, we’re at home for awhile,” you will find relief and confidence to set up a plan to power through!
It’s also a good idea to clue the kids in on what’s going on. I had talks with each of my boys at the beginning of the week. I spoke with them about the week’s agenda and what they can expect. I reminded them that there would be boring times and rest times. So, when they get bored now, I remind them of that conversation. Prep your kids with a discussion of expectations, remind them while you’re in the moment and then you can prep again each morning. Kids like to know what’s happening. They sometimes get anxious or overly bored when they don’t know what to expect.
Make a Plan
Now that you’ve accepted your current situation, it’s time to muster up all you’ve got for a plan. I’m big on goals and outlines. Outline each day that you are expected to be at home. Break down what you will do throughout the day. Schedule everything from eating time, play time to rest time and sleep time. Plan one activity you can do as a family at home and one activity you can do outside of the home. That could be outside play, a trip to the park, or if you’re brave enough, going out to eat/playdate/fun activity.
This week, before they announced school closing for an additional week, was our spring break. I tried to avoid big crowds but knew I would lose my mind if we were home the entire time. On Monday, we took a trip to Bluebell Creamery. It was great because it was different, small crowds and easy. All of the boys enjoyed their ice cream and the drive to and from. I rarely put on movies in the car so when we do long trips (this was only about 90 minutes) they were excited to watch a new movie. The next day, I called a “rest day” where we hung around the house, walked to the park, played with legos and watched movies most of the day. On the rest days, I still have to plan out our day so there isn’t as much “I’m hungry,” or “I’m bored,” comments that annoy me like crazy! If they ask, I simply respond with, “we aren’t having a snack until 11, it’s only 9:30, let’s start this puzzle and we’ll have a snack after.” They still ask but with a schedule, I don’t have to think too much about my answer. I’m able to remind them and then distract with what’s on the schedule.
Some ideas that have gone over well this week in our house:
New Lego buildings
Golf cart rides through the neighborhood
Day road trip to a drive thru safari/zoo
Sidewalk Chalk Coloring
Comic Book design
Chores to save money
We also have what we call, The Bored Game. You can find all about it on my Instagram profile @themomtherapist.
Ask for Help
Sometimes we need a break. Who am I kidding…we need a flippin' break!!!! Not just sometimes but a lot of the times! I had a talk with my husband just last night that this weekend he should go ahead and expect for me to peace out for a few hours to prepare myself emotionally for next week’s shenanigans. I’ve also gotten into the habit of asking him to come home a little early this week to spend time with us, for him to handle bedtime duty and to allow myself to have some alone time.
Asking loved ones to take over can be SO helpful. Even if it's just for an hour or so. I have been blessed with the world’s best mother-in-law who helps me with the boys while I’m at work. This week, I worked one day and she played and cared for them from 8am-9pm. She’s a saint. I’ve already reached out to her for next week so I can get some work done.
Sometimes it’s a friend, an aunt, your spouse or your mom, find those you can lean on and in the times when you’re about to lose your ever-loving mind, lean on them. It takes a village, and this is that time. Don’t let yourself go insane. Emotionally stay self-aware and do what it takes FOR YOU to get through this time so you can be the best mom/dad you can be. Ask for help!
I mean, at least we don’t have it right?? I remember when Hurricane Harvey hit, and we were stuck in the house for 2 weeks straight. I thought I was going to lose it. (I had a harder time finding acceptance then) but at some point, it hit me, at least we’re okay. At least we have all of our things and our house isn’t flooding. At least I’m with my family and we are all safe and sound. At least I get to sleep in my bed tonight. At least I get to hug my loved ones.
I am so lucky. I am so grateful.
When we are emotionally drained or have caught the “fever,” it is hard sometimes to recognize the good and find gratitude. I encourage you, not just during this time but from here on out in your daily life, to make yourself a gratitude journal. Write out at least three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day. A new study actually shows that by practicing this act, anxiety, depression and sleepless nights go down significantly.
Okay, you’ve got this!!! I've got this! We can get through this! You have enough toilet paper! Let’s take this “fever” on and get through the next few weeks! And don't forget to wash your hands!
Or... you can just forget all of this and stock up on some good wine, if so, can I come over?? ;)