Staying at home during the lockdown is a struggle for many.
I work from home and have had a few years packed with many activities at home – work, hobbies as well as running my home. Often these past years, just getting out of the house has been an effort for me.
So, while this lockdown meant I had to restructure my daily routine because my husband and I are both at home, the stay-at-home part has not been all that bad for me. We took sometime to figure out how to organize our work space, so that both of us can work without disturbance, and it’s been quite nice.
So, here’s 5 tips that will help you enjoy the Stay-At-Home Blues
Tip No 1 : Set a routine for the home
- The same waking and sleep times, as well as meal times, as a regular working week, with some ease on weekends.
- Activity time for kids. Young children will need parents to do this with them, until they’re independent.
- An hour of reading after breakfast – either parent assisted reading, or independent reading with the parent around reading too.
- An exercise activity that your children think is fun and will get your kids moving. Dancercise or play if your kids are small enough to run around, and if there’s place in your home for this. FUN is the keyword. Check out dance and exercise videos on youtube and find something age appropriate, that your child enjoys.
- Solo play time. It’s very important for children to be able to play on their own with their toys, or occupy themselves drawing, writing or listening to music without constantly wanting attention from adults.
- Family time when everyone, or some members of the family are free.
Tip No 2 : Make listening to music a daily habit
Make listening to music a habit for the full family. Music is relaxing and listening to music helps people destress. It certainly helps me when I’m cooking.
It’s nice to have a combination of different kinds of music, and you could do this with one session or divide it into different sessions at different times of the day.
- Fast or happy music is a wonderful way to wake everyone up and lift moods. It’s a great way to help fidgety children and teens get rid of the fidgets, as well as adults with no activity get some exercise. Music teachers have a repertoire of Move-To-Music activities for the family and can help you with this.
- Songs to keep the singers in the family busy. Singing encourages good breathing and music combined with lyrics about different situations and emotions are an outlet for feelings and emotions.
- Music to teach quiet and stillness. It’s a wonderful idea to have a habit of playing slow music and have the full family sit around and listen. The habit of stillness is worth cultivating, and is important for every member of the family to learn.
Tip No 3 : Dress for week days
We are living our lives at home during this lockdown, and dressing up like we would on a normal week day does have an impact on the way we view our day.
It helps I think, to dress up for week days. Casual day wear is good enough.
Tip No 4 : Chores for everyone
This time is going to push the traditional Indian woman who manages the home like never before. She’s getting no break from her children, or if she’s very traditional, from the role of serving her husband water and meals. Maids from outside are not being allowed in housing societies, and she’s got no help dealing with the elderly she’s looking after.
There’s no escape, because no one is leaving the home!
- A time of the day for chores is a good idea. When EVERYONE is busy with different chores and this becomes a family activity, it’s easier to motivate those who don’t want to do their chores.
- Allocate chores so that everyone is clear about their responsibility. Keep rotating chores and you will eventually find something that each member really likes to do, or can tolerate doing.
- Chores in pairs. It’s good idea to for those hesitant to take on chores, to be allocated chores jointly with another family member.
Many Indian women could themselves be stuck in traditional roles and unable to move out of them even when it makes their lives difficult. Even when it’s no longer the need of the time. Plus their efforts are likely to meet resistance from family members who want to cling to tradition.
This is a time for the Indian man to step in. Ask his wife what help she needs. And take the responsibility of initiating change, so that his wife isn’t the ‘bad guy’ chasing everybody.
Tip No 5 : Sit in the sun
We all need sunlight. For Vitamin D certainly. But also because natural light has the power to lift our moods.
We’re fortunate to live in a home where the rooms get less heat, but the balconies are bright and airy. So my trips to the coffeeshop have now changed to trips to our balcony. I am actually most comfortable in the room with a flower-bed area (a thin strip of balcony in Indian housing societies) and now sit there to write, call up family and have chai.
The challenge of this time is flexibility. Whether we can change to suit the need of the hour, and use this lockdown to grow in a different direction.
“We must take a turn when the path is blocked,
And explore the lanes we usually do not.”
I hope this post helps you enjoy the Stay-At-Home Blues, and make this lockdown work for you personally.
It’s a difficult time for many in India and for whom social distancing isn’t a choice. The poor who aren’t as fortunate as us and live in cramped homes with poor sanitation and without access to clean water. The jobless daily workers, mostly migrants, who are now stranded between state borders with nowhere to stay. And many others.
The men and women whose professions are essential services and who take risks daily as they do their jobs. We are truly grateful to you.