"Home is the nicest word there is." I think we can all agree with Laura Ingalls Wilder. During times like these it would be easy for home to become a chaotic place, but for the sake of our families and children we must guard the serenity of home. Young children do not fully understand the situation, but they do sense or observe the changes and it does affect them. Teenagers are more aware of the pandemic, but they will still feed off your calm or lack of it during this time. As parents we can help our family stay calm by infusing fun, calming activities into our days. As Bethel Worship Leader Sean Feucht said “Our kids won't remember much about the effects of this virus (social, economic, political) but they will remember how HOME FELT while the world freaks out…" Years from now, when this crisis has abated, will our families remember chaos and panic or peace? Here are five things you can do today to keep calm at home.
1. Practice Your Daily Routines (Even if you are “just staying home.")
A lot of us are not going anywhere. Most are working or attending school and college from home. This could mean that your routines fall to the wayside. You and your family may be sleeping in later because you are going to bed later. Set alarms. Get up, make beds (or not), drink coffee, eat breakfast, and dress for the day. Do whatever it is that you would normally do every day. Kids, especially, need their daily routines to function well. Most importantly they require adequate rest, as it promotes both physical and mental growth for them. Not to mention the calming effects adequate rest has for teens and adults. Practicing your routines, helps to have a productive day and keeps a sense of normal.
2. Plant a Garden
Before you skip over this one because you "don’t have the space." You may be surprised as to what you can grow in a small space and actually have a successful garden. Planter box gardens are popular and effective. You can find DIY planter box plans on the internet. If you are a beginner, start small. Plant in containers; 5-gallon buckets will work just fine for your first crops. If that seems too large of an undertaking, grow herb plants in small pots on your front porch. You can purchase plants at any local home improvement store, or some grocery stores. Check out YouTube for gardening how-to videos. This gets you and your family outdoors and will provide a sense of accomplishment for all when your plants began peeking from the soil!
3. Spring Clean
"If I only had the time." You know you've said this about that one room you are always wanting to organize or clean out. (Maybe that room is your child's room!) Take this time to organize and declutter your home. You will feel accomplished, and calmer with less clutter to manage!
4. Time for "Honey-Dos" -- Together!
You know those home improvement projects that you never started on, or started and never finished? Now is the perfect time to get those done. What's even better, make the "honey-do" project into a team effort for some quality time with your sweetheart or with your whole family.
5. Create a Memoir
Someday we will want to remember what we did during this time. Snap pictures of your creative activities or just moments of fun and laughter. Begin creating a memoir, whether that is a scrapbook or a simple picture book with written descriptions, that will be cherished for years - perhaps even for generations to come.
Guard your home's calm. Try one of these activities today!