The global health crisis has been absolutely insane and stressful on everyone I know, including myself and my family. I find myself going through every kind of feeling that one could imagine–from fear to relief at having a break from the day-to-day and a constant undercurrent of anxiety.
Quarantine has been uniquely stressful on my family, although it affects us all in different ways. I like to be home, but now I constantly have kids underfoot and wayyy too much going on with everybody in the house. Conversely, my husband doesn’t have enough going on because he misses the social connection. Although our kids are young, they seem to be uniquely sensitive to something in the air. They miss their grandparents and they know that our routine is off. That’s manifested in more crying, being more clingy, and generally more stress for everyone in the house. It’s not unheard of to have moments where everyone is crying.
With anxiety, there tends to be an amplification of physical sensations and sensitivity to one’s environment, so finding ways to calm down and relax as a family has been crucial. Taking time to wind down reminds your body that you’re safe and helps to reverse some of the overexertion and drain that anxiety causes. Here are three amazing ways that I found for us to relax as a family:
Keep to a routine as much as possible.
Even though the schedule is completely out the window (let’s be real, thank goodness for that) we try to keep to a routine. That means, predictably, we get up in the morning, have breakfast and spend some time together. Damany and I trade off child care so that we can each focus on getting some work done, and then we do our bathtime and bedtime routine as normal. This gives us some ability to bracket the day with things that are familiar, and it’s flexible enough to work whether we start the day at 7:00 am or 11:00 am (because we’ve been sleeping in a lot).
Find new ways of relaxing that involve everyone.
As I mentioned, I’m an introvert, and I love to take my downtime by myself. Quiet time, especially since I became a mom, has been crucial, and pre-quarantine I loved sneaking out of the house for mani-pedis, massages, yoga or brunch alone. That’s not really so much of an option anymore. We try to spend time doing fun and relaxing things as a family. Sometimes we play video games together, which is one of my husband’s favorite ways to relax. Other times we play building blocks with my daughter or take her for a ride on her scooter. At times we all put the baby down for a nap together. We snuggle up and listen to the Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness app, which is a fantastic, kid-friendly app with soothing sounds, music and guided meditations. The kids go to sleep in less than 15 minutes–and unfortunately, it works a little too well on the adults, too.
Set a time to unplug.
We found that it’s really easy to overdo it on screen time in quarantine. My husband is looking to stay involved with his friends and colleagues, I’m constantly on the computer for work and getting updates on the virus, and my daughter’s new babysitter is a pink fox. Unfortunately, staying on the screen has a way of making you stress non-stop. We try to unplug and read, work on art projects, or listen to some soothing music on the Moshi app. Although it was hard to initially step away, I found that unplugging as a family allows us to decompress and makes us feel more normal in these crazy times.
You can hear a little sneak peek of the Moshi meditation music in the video below.
I received no compensation for this post, just a code to test the premium features of the Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulness app. As always, all opinions are true and 100% my own.