If you want to remain sane during the quarantine, when you’re likely working from home and living with your family in closed quarters, you must quickly incorporate new routines. Here I share 10 things you can do during the quarantine that will hopefully awaken other creative ideas to keep you and your family in the best of terms.
For some time now remote work has been a common practice in a large number of companies. But what makes this situation unique is that now, while you’re home working, so are all the members of your family who normally may be in school, at work or doing other activities. Add to this the fact that you may not be able to take a break and grab a cup of coffee with a friend or hit the gym, and you have the perfect storm to be overstressed.
Without minimizing the seriousness of the current situation, I invite you to remember how many times you have longed to have more free time to do countless things like cleaning up your closet, reading a book, watching movies, or taking an online course. And above all, to spend quality time with your loved ones.
Taking into account that the isolation can last several days, I suggest some activities that can be sustained over time.
10 Things you can do during quarantine with your family
Here’s a personal experience that may help you. When I was in high school I had a literature teacher who read novels to us. She did it with in a very histrionic way. She’d only read a few pages and stopped in a cliff hanger. Although they were young adult novels, she managed to create the climate to keep a group of 15 years-old intrigued for a whole week. (Along the line of what Netflix or Amazon series do today.) I remembered that teacher all my life for instilling in me the value of reading and in turn, I did the same with my young children, to whom I read stories every night. We put together what we called the “storybook corner”, which was a hallway halfway between the rooms of my two kids. Every night, before going to bed, they brought their pillows and I read to them. It was part of beloved ritual.
You can also carry out this activity with adults. There is something very special about reading aloud and having a book read aloud to you.
2Share old stories
Is there a story in your life that you haven’t told your family yet? As simple as it may seem, it may be a nice moment to share it. There are always things that others don’t yet know about you. Especially if it is your partner or your children who seem to know everything there is to know about you.
How long has it been since you last used pen and paper to write a letter? Whether it is to someone who lives in another country, or someone who lives in your own town and who you don’t see often. Think of your old school friends. Is there anyone that you stopped seeing long time ago and with whom you would like to reconnect and still have not done so on Facebook?
Those old printed photos of your childhood, the ones you didn’t digitize, can lead to beautiful moments. While you digitize them, or organize them in albums, you can go through them with your partner, children and even parents who remind you of stories you didn’t know. Write down the names of the people who appear on the picture. And you can even add a paragraph on the back that reminds you of when it was taken. Another option is to take advantage of this moment to create books with digital photos. It is a fun and time-consuming task that you or your children can undertake.
5Retrieve the old board games
Another beautiful activity to do during quarantine is to play board games. Our dependency on virtual life has made us forget those old games. Cards, dice, Monopoly, Backgammon and so on are among many games that our children may not even know about. Show them. Dust them off and put them to work. Both with children or between adults, you will be surprised at how much fun they were and how much you can enjoy playing them again. You can do championships that carry on from one day to the next.
6Drop down and play
How long has it been since you drop to the ground to play? Whether you are with children, with other adults or alone, this is a great opportunity. Assemble puzzles, Lego castles, Barbie stories, or whatever you like. You can make collages or pictures with recycling material, or crafts with discarded objects.
7Put together a band
From conventional instruments such as guitar, piano or drums, to homemade and invented instruments. Pots and pans, glasses with different amounts of water, rattles made out of plastic bottles and rice, combs made out of aluminum foil. You can search the Internet to find tutorials or let your imagination run wild.
Time to get a little dirty
8Create a vegetable garden
Being in close proximity to soil, even if it is just with a few pots, can make you feel great. You can germinate beans and then move them to soil or plant seeds alone or with your kids. You can even grow some aromatic plants or herbs to use in the kitchen. Taking daily care of a small garden and seeing plants grow is extremely gratifying.
Cooking can be very enjoyable and creative. Even teaching children to collaborate in daily housework is a way to educate them, not only for this atypical situation, but for life in general. Be sure to rotate activities so you avoid creating stereotypes where girls always do certain things and boys other things. (Example, girls set the table and boys wash the car.)
10Learn to compost
During quarantine you will have a higher volume of garbage in your home. Take this opportunity to learn how to compost. In addition to increasing your home’s sustainability, you will send your children a clear message about the importance of caring for the planet. There are many tutorials to help you along the way.
During the quarantine we all have to change our habits
As you can see, this isolation will require a change of habits on everyone’s part. From hygiene, social interaction, to everyday life. It is an excellent opportunity to revalue the connection with our loved ones, as well as giving rise to creativity and using that time that you so longed for in a productive way.