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Today's Family Magazine

MOMMY CHRONICLES: "Coronacation"

By Stacy Turner

These are challenging times, filled with uncertainty and fear for people of all ages as this pandemic touches everyone’s lives, regardless of where they live.  In an effort to slow the rise of illness, communities are practicing ‘social distancing’, a novel new concept that has become common, thanks to Covid-19.  When our busy schedules are suddenly still, it may seem a bit unnerving. That’s where faith and hope come in.

By now, you and your family are probably trying to settle into a new normal, sequestered at home.  Your kid’s schools may have provided online or paper copies of assignments to be completed over the next few weeks, giving you time to settle into a schedule that works for your family.  As you and your family try to make the best of this unprecedented time together during what my kids are referring to as a "coronacation," you may wonder how you’ll deal with the next few weeks at home without driving each other nuts.  As you look over your new, more simplified schedule, courtesy of this virus vacation, you may want to keep a few things in mind.

Make time in this unprecedented quiet to read something.  If your family is like mine, they probably don’t have much time to read for fun during the hectic school year.  On the bright side, some time has just been freed up, so take advantage of it.  If you’re looking for something new, check out your local library.  While libraries have closed their local branches, most offer online access for downloading ebooks, audiobooks, and streaming tv shows and movies.  And as the days at home, with limited access to social circles begins to grate on you or your kids, maybe it’s time to reread “The Diary of Ann Frank” to gain a bit of perspective.

With social distancing in effect, both you and your kids may need some ideas of how to spend time -- both together and apart — without driving each other up a wall.  With messaging, social media, and connectivity apps, reaching out to coworkers and clients, or friends and far-away family for needed social interaction is easy to do.  And offline, I’ve found that our dog is a great listener who’s game for a walk anytime of day.

With heightened concerns over germs and the sale of more cleaning products than ever before, chances are you’ve got the supplies and plenty of time to clean something. Think beyond proper hand-washing techniques and sanitizing of communal areas.  Having uninterrupted time at home gives you and your kids time time to clean and organize those areas that your previously busy schedule hasn’t allowed.  Not the height of fun, but feeling productive can be rewarding.

Although some spring sports seasons have been canceled, my kids still hold out hope that they’ll be able to enjoy at least a part of their season.  So they’re continuing with workouts as a team of two.  If you’ve been going to the gym or class to exercise, don’t you give up, either. Find something similar online, or try a new workout on your own; share it on social media to stay accountable.  And make time to go outside for some fresh air.  Whether you plan a scavenger hunt, a quick run, walk the dog, or get a head start on spring clean up, a change of scenery can change your perspective for the better.

Reach out to elderly family members and neighbors to offer assistance or just let them know you care.  If you’re heading to the store, find out what they need and drop it off for them.  Calling or sending a card will spread compassion, not disease.  Pull out those intricate patterned adult coloring books, or unearth those neglected craft kits or recipes and create something.  Have your kids join you -- the results may not be pin-worthy, but you’ll have fun together.  And during this time of refocusing on home and family, don’t forget your faith.  These days, the directive is to stay home.  Use this unprecedented time to be still, and remember that in spite of all the uncertainty, God will see us through.