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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hobday

Surviving Your Family While On Lock-down

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

Okay, so despite the outbreak and the scariness of it all, you are given the opportunity to work remotely from home. Perhaps this is something you’ve been wishing on for a long time or maybe it’s something you’ve never even considered. Regardless of whether you’ve wanted this or not, the reality is you are now at home. And so are you kids. With schools canceled, they are getting their dreams answered, but in a totally different way than they ever imagined.

Being at home is supposed to be fun, so why does it feel stressful? Well, for starters, you and your family have had a routine down for as long as you can remember - and that routine involves leaving the house. Despite wishing you could spend more time together as a family, your routine has hardly changed over the last few years, presumably. This means that not only are you being disrupted by this new pattern, everyone else in your household is being disrupted, too, which means you are all going to have to work together to make this work.

The first step is to establish a private area in the house for each person. If it’s nice enough outside where you live, you can incorporate outdoor space as well. The reason every person needs their own personal space is so in the event someone feels their toes being stepped on, they can quickly move out of the way without stepping on someone else’s toes. This also means you and your partner have designated work areas so you can keep the money flowing.

Speaking of designated work areas, for everyone who cannot go back to work because you work in the food or tourism and event industries, find yourself a private designated work area in your home, as well. Even if you live in a studio apartment, get creative with furniture placement and items that can be used as partitions if you have to. The key is feeling like it’s your own private space.

Now, you’re probably wondering why you would want workspace if you can’t work from home. Now is the best opportunity than ever to get a side-hustle going. We are more connected than ever through online sources, so why not take advantage of the extra time you have. Plus, it’s easy to start making money within the first few months of working online and depending on the route you take it will cost little to nothing to get going. The hardest and most time-consuming part is getting yourself set up and your online presence noticed, and with all this time on your hands……

Now that we’ve established everyone’s private escape areas, the next thing to do is set some actual family time together. Don’t just go about your whole day in your own corners of the house. You can’t take advantage of the extra time together if you’re not spending any time together. Institute date night where the kids get their own slumber party without any grownup intervention upstairs in exchange for total peace and quiet downstairs. Or, if you’re brave enough to couple up with some neighbors, do a kid swap every few days to allow some alone time without the children. Sanity is what we’re going for, so get a date night in as often as you need.

Now, do the same with the children. Schedule some one-on-one time with each child in the same fashion. Secure their siblings with your partner or a friend and have an adventure together. Go out hiking somewhere, or dive into an intense novel together. Each person you share a household with needs to feel love, especially in these trying, yet innovating times.

Next up is the group time. Family time as a whole is the best time. This is when everyone gets to be their silly selves while feeling connected to the whole group. Speaking of silly, it’s important to keep a sense of humor. In the past, it was easy for parents to shield their children from any news they thought might harm them. These days, good luck trying that. Not only are children more aware then ever, but they are also much smarter because of it. I find it much better to just be open and honest and leave room for their own interpretations.

When we keep things light and fun, we allow ourselves to open up and see new possibilities.

When disaster strikes, it’s the people who proclaim that they’re doomed who end up suffering the most. However, the people who proclaim a new challenge in front of them end up far ahead of everyone else when things are back to normal. When we draw down into ourselves, we close ourselves off from anything and everything. Look up, stay positive, and look for new opportunities to take advantage of. That is how you will stay, not just above the water, but flying high up in the sky. Expand your view out as much as possible to see the big picture. When we focus on small things, the world tends to feel really big, but when we focus on big things, the world starts to feel smaller and more attainable.

The big picture here is extra time for your family and for yourself. When you stay positive about every situation, things seem to fall into place around you and things go swimmingly well. There is no need for us to fight or for us to worry unless we drop down into that dark constricting place. Open yourself up and enjoy every moment you get to experience over these next few weeks. Then, pass that infectious positivity to those closest to you. It will only spread from there.

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