Navigating our new ‘norm’ in quarantine

By Kate - Fri, 17/04/2020

With Term 2 underway, many parents have expressed feelings of unrest, apprehension and anxiety. Navigating new things can be challenging, but navigating a completely new way of life is downright overwhelming! Most Australians are now working from home, most kids are learning online, families are together 24/7, there is fear and panic in the community so even the mundane trip to the Supermarket is now a dreaded activity, avoided until desperation is reached. Whilst much of our current reality is out of our control, it’s time to focus on those things that are very much in our control.

Do’s

#1 - Create routine

We are all creatures of habit and we thrive off of routine. Whether you’re creating a work schedule or a schedule for your child's school day, routine and daily structure is imperative. Things to include: wake-up/sleep time, meal times, coffee breaks, start/end time of school day, online entertainment (iPad, Playstation), outdoor play time etc. 

#2 - Eat nutritious food

Nutrition is essential for brain function, sustaining energy levels throughout the day, mood stability, immunity, strength, and the list goes on! Not only is proper nutrition essential for your kids, but for yourselves as parents too. Don’t forget to grab the occasional ‘naughty’ treat - this will contribute towards your sanity!

#3 - Stay active 

Staying active in quarantine would have to be one of the greatest challenges. Gone are the days where you can pump some iron at the local gym, get your sweat on in a Spin class, or tap into your inner ‘zen’ in a Yoga session. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that everyone engage in “150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both.” Here are five things you can do to stay active!

#4 - Keep busy

Who would have thought that we are facing another risk equal to that of COVID-19 called Alysosis. This is a pathological form of tedium, caused by a negative emotional state (for example, boredom). We are so fixated on the health implications of Coronavirus that we lose sight of our own mental health and stability. For this reason, we must stay busy - mentally and physically. Engage in new activities, find new hobbies, continue to learn, interact with others and try to keep ‘downtime’ to a minimum. 

Don’ts

#1 - Consume ‘too much’ media

Excessive media consumption is a sure way to elevate stress and anxiety levels. It’s important to stay ‘in-the-know’ but it’s equally important to limit consumption to the minimum required to stay current. Tips to follow:

  • Choose a source that you know and trust.
  • Decide on a time of day + how much time you require to stay current.
  • Avoid too much social media (it’s not always the most trusted/reliable source).
  • Engage in political and societal discussions with well-informed friends or family members.
  • Make a decision on what you want your kids to be exposed to and choose your ‘new time’ accordingly - news can be scary!

#2 - Work outside of your set ‘schedule’

When working from home, it’s more difficult to commit daily to a set schedule. Work is much more accessible and the lines are blurred on the start/end of the working day. If you normally work 9am - 5pm, be sure to stick to that at home and don’t forget to take your usual breaks too!

#3 - Be afraid 

There is a great amount of fear caused by uncertainty in communities globally. Whether emotional, economic, social, or other - we are all feeling the brunt of it. Whilst unprecedented times call for concern and alarm, we must remember that if we abide by Government enforced social distancing measures and draw upon the resources made available to us, we will survive and we will be ok. Our new ‘norm’ is only temporary.

#4 - Stay indoors

#StayAtHome doesn’t mean stay inside! Irrespective of whether you live in a studio apartment or on a large acreage, it is important to spend some time outside. Dr. Buchinsky, the Wellness director at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center says, “It’s absolutely most beneficial to get outside to get the fresh air. It increases serotonin, dopamine and makes you feel good.” Whether it’s a morning run, afternoon stroll with the dog, lunch outside on the patio, or playing with the kids in your garden, be sure to add one to your daily schedule.

There really is no comparison between life in quarantine and our formet every day life. However, a slight mindset shift coupled with a bit of extra planning can make the foreseeable future more tolerable for all family members. If you’re looking for an outlet to share or engage with other like-minded people, be sure to join our My School Connect Parent Hub - it’s a great way to connect with others and navigate this crazy time together!