Posts

COVID-19 How to Use This Time Purposefully

covid-19 how to use this time for purpose

 

There are many emotions and daily changes that are happening. Some days are better than others. It seems that the only constant is change with daily updates on how to live life, what’s next, and what is being put in place for our community. We are all cultivating resilience and courage, as well as learning more and more. Please know I am here to support you and be part of your Quaranteam.

 

We can use this time purposefully.  This pause has given us the gift of time in an unusual way and that hopefully we will never have again. We can be intentional with this time and give ourselves the gift of purpose. I have chosen two strategies to give purpose to each week. For me it is building new habits and giving back. These two elements have given me structure, focus and meaning.

 

Building new habits

Being at home more, I have the opportunity to build better habits that have been harder to develop.  There are many strategies to make habits stick. (Yes, certified professional organizers are a work in progress too.) Simple habits like exercising more and drinking more water have eluded me because I was not able to work these into a reliable time during the week. Early appointments and long days made it hard to get in enough steps.  Carrying a water bottle seemed cumbersome during the week. Time at home has given me an opening in the morning to accomplish my 10k steps a day. The benefit I imagined, such as improved sleeping and ongoing positivity, are reason enough to continue past the end of quarantine.  Drinking more water, with a sliced lemon, has become my beverage of choice through the day. Just adding these two simple parts of daily life are important to my well being, my work and my family.

I encourage you to choose one small, valued habit to make a difference during this time.  On top of my list would be a great sleep routine, next being healthy eating. These foundational self care elements help you live your best life!

 

Giving back to others

How to Help and Give Back is front page news on the Wall Street Journal. Research fully supports the value of helping others during times of stress. Helping others does not have to be big.  It’s in small acts and gifts. Thank you to everyone making masks. These contributions are already making a difference for everyone (especially as we are now required to wear masks.)

In addition, here are some amazing stories I am hearing. A friend brings Chick-fil-a to a “work from  home” family with 2 kids under 5 to brighten the day. A friend writes “I miss you” notes and tapes these to the her friends’ back yard gates. There are countless donations of gift cards to service industry professionals like nail salon workers, hair stylists and cleaning ladies. Do what you can with what you have to be a contributor.

There are big needs for our community too. These are links to needs local to Houston.

 

We have some bumpy roads ahead as we make our way through this dark time.  The time passes more quickly if we all have purposeful intentions and actions.  Comment below on how you are making a difference! I’d love to hear from you!

COVID-19 How to Establish Schedules for Home, School and Work

covid-19 schedules for home, school and work

 

We have been at home for a few weeks now, settling in after COVID-19 news that staying home is important.  While the first week or so may have felt like snow days, it’s time to settle into schedules that help you stay productive and positive.  Schedules are repeated patterns that we use to empower our priorities.  Right now our priorities can be simple. We can embrace our new normal by patterning our days.

Basic concepts

Setting up your own schedule can be baffling to some. It is creating structure for yourself, which you may not be comfortable with or skilled at.  For some it’s natural to do. These basic concepts can help you craft your schedule.

  • Prioritize what is most important first. Right now that is simple, that being you have work and your kids have school. First this in first to your schedule. Depending on your own work and your kids’ schools, this may set your schedule directly.
  • Know your own personal strengths. Are you a morning person or not?  Take this quiz on The Power of When to know what works best. Most of us know this from all our personal experiences. Use your best time of the day to do your most important work.
  • Be sure to include self care, exercise, meals, bedtimes and reset time in your schedule. These routines help us be our best selves.
  • We tend to be overly ambitious about our schedules. Choose time blocks that help you keep focused and productive.  Too many time blocks and too much transition deter productivity. Use time blocking to help you create a schedule that works well. For example, choose a morning and afternoon 2 hour block rather than two one hour blocks each morning and afternoon.
  • Post your schedule for everyone to know the plan for the day.  Talk about your schedule at your family meeting, emphasize the value, and keep everyone on track with clocks and timers.

 

 

Sample School for a Morning Person

Monday – Friday Schedule  Morning Person Sample Schedule
6:00 AM Wake up

Reflection time or Meditation

6:30 AM Shower and dress
7:00 AM Wake kids
7:30 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Daily exercise/Listen to a podcast
8:30 AM
9:00 AM Work and School start
9:30 AM
10:00 AM
10:30 AM Break
11:00 AM Work and school continue
11:30 AM
12:00 PM Lunch and Break
12:30 PM
1:00 PM Outside time
1:30 PM Work and school continue
2:00 PM
2:30 PM
3:00 PM
3:30 PM
4:00 PM Outside time
4:30 PM
5:00 PM Dinner
5:30 PM
6:00 PM
6:30 PM
7:00 PM Family time
7:30 PM Prep kids for bed
8:00 PM
8:30 PM Kids’ bedtime
9:00 PM
9:30 PM
10:00 PM Parent’s bedtime

 

Sample Schedule for Not a Morning Person

Monday – Friday Not a Morning Person Sample Schedule
8:00 AM Wake up

Reflection time or Meditation

8:30 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Shower and Dress
9:30 AM
10:00 AM Work and School begin
10:30 AM
11:00 AM
11:30 AM
12:00 PM Lunch and Break
12:30 PM Outside time
1:00 PM Work and School continue
1:30 PM
2:00 PM
2:30 PM Outside time and Break
3:00 PM Work and School continue
3:30 PM
4:00 PM
4:30 PM
5:00 PM Outside time
5:30 PM
6:00 PM Dinner
6:30 PM
7:00 PM Family time
7:30 PM
8:00 PM Prep kids for bed
8:30 PM Kids’ bedtime
9:00 PM
9:30 PM
10:00 PM Parent’s bedtime

More Resources

How to Work from Home with Your Kids

CHADD Suddenly Working from Home

ADDitudemag Learning from Home Schedule

ADDitudemag Are you Corona Schooling? 

Kids Activities Blog Free School Resources

Today Show How to Home School

 

 

schedule

Family Schedule for Home School

 

COVID-19 Making Your Time at Home Productive and Peaceful

home productive and peaceful

 

With the self imposed or CDC required time at home, you are thinking you will be at home for a prolonged period of time.  We live day to day because there is so much information coming at us and there is not much that is certain right now.  Let’s take this time to take care of ourselves, those around us and our community.  Using our time at home wisely helps us feel positive and productive.

  • Think self care and putting your own oxygen mask on first.  That includes keeping your routines going well. That is going to bed early for rest, eating healthy, and exercising. Remember, if you are sick to stay home and take care of yourself.  Keep these routines going even after this crisis passes. It’s a jump start to what we all want for a healthy life. I am biking and walking daily to keep fit and keep calm.
  • Take time to relax and time to reset. There is a lot on our minds! We have long to do lists, anxiety about health and family and work, and many decisions to make each day.  Having time for prayer and meditation helps.  Spiritual reading or time for meditation daily helps you sort through what is on your mind and get a bigger picture. On your phone, you can check out Headspace or the Mindfulness app. Both are free for use on your devices. Research shows how stress affects our immunity to illness.
  • Organizing helps us love what we have and create serenity in our homes.  Start small with a spot in your home to declutter.  It might be your desk or a drawer in your home office where you are working from home.  I have been peeking into drawers and letting go of what is not necessary. If you are feeling ambitious, start sorting your digital photos.  It’s a project that will bring you joy.
  • Connecting makes a difference right now. Reach out by text, phone or email to say hello, thinking of you and check on your connections. Keep especially connected to our older friends and community members by reaching out and checking on them.  Drop off what they need and be of service.
  • Give your brain a boost. This is a great time to learn. There are learning opportunities everywhere from Coursera to podcasts.  Keeping cognitively active keeps us engaged and moving forward to our goals for this year.
  • Working from home and your kiddos are schooling at home? Set up times for work and breaks. Creating and posting a schedule helps everyone know the plan for the day.  Make it fun with a schedule that includes breaks for recess for everyone.
  • Allocate and adhere to screen time and social media time for yourself and your kiddos. Mindless surfing leads to negative emotions at times.  Keep a common charging spot where everyone charges during certain times.
  • Distract everyone with 60s style family fun. Host a family art day, family dance party and family game night.  Having a new way to engage with your family makes for tons of fun!  Our newest family games include charades and Sync Up
  • Remember Keep Calm and Carry On. We are a resilient, resourceful and smart community. Sharing that positivity and kindness are the hallmarks of these crisis.  We are all in this together.

Embracing Self Care recommended for COVID-19

self care covid-19

 

The news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has us thinking about health and wellness. The news can be scary about immune compromised people and how the virus spreads.  There are many ways to protect ourselves from the virus. Most compelling is that self care makes a difference for us when it comes to this virus and well being. That self care includes daily routines that promote health all the time.

 

Protective measures include putting routines  in place are both for your health and to be your best self. We all know to wash our hands thoroughly,  avert coughing, and stand at a distance. Know to stay home when you are not well and spend time resting.  These protective measures can be a part of our daily routines even after the virus passes. Happily we can go back to hugging!

 

Physical self-care

There is an abundance of information on how to keep ourselves in great shape.  These are the basics we are well familiar with and should be doing each and every day, regardless of the virus.

  • Start by getting a great night’s sleep. Get ready early so you are in bed to get 8 hours of sleep.  Set an environment that helps you get the rest you need and want with no electronics an hour before bed and a notepad by your bed for last minute thoughts. Research shows a cool environment with heavy covers helps you rest through the night.
  • Eat a variety of veggies and go heavy on your protein for a well-balanced diet.  We are what we eat! If you are stocking up, keep organized by decluttering your pantry and categorizing.  A well stocked pantry makes it easier to eat healthy too.  A healthy diet keeps your immune system up and running well.
  • Exercise daily.  My personal favorites are walking and pilates.  Walk the extra stairs to work or park farther away to get some time in if you are short on possibilities.

While this is a scary time, it might also be the jump start you need to get these physical care activities into place in your life.  A body that is well all the time fights off all illnesses.

Mindset self care

Research shows how stress affects our immunity to illness. We thrive on laughter and positivity. Keeping a sense of humor and laughter lightens your load. Spending time with family and friends brings you a sense of belonging. Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music, are joyful ways to spend your time.  As a lifelong learner, I value the power of small bites of information.  I listen to podcasts to think big about what I want and learn new ideas. Actively manage your stress with practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage. Through apps, you can meditate daily to help you lower anxiety about life.

There is a lot on our minds! We have long to do lists, anxiety about health and family and work, and many decisions to make each day.  Having time for prayer and meditation helps.  Spiritual reading or time for meditation daily helps you sort through what is on your mind and get a bigger picture. On your phone, you can check out Headspace or the Mindfulness app. Both are free for use on your devices.

 

Routines for self care

By taking better care of yourself through routines, you are taking control of what you can control. It is not easy to practice self care in our busy lives with stressful jobs and activities. We can let technology get in the way of real self care. Start with one simple routine to empower your most important self care and gradually add to your routines. Remember that adage, put your own oxygen mask on first. It is especially the case with self-care. Embrace the self care we all need all the time.