Social distancing, state of emergency, school closures, everything closures – it all means we are spending a great deal more family time than we are accustomed to. No dance lessons, tennis matches, hockey games and more to run our children off to, at the same time everyone working and schooling from home, it keeps everyone home and together much more than we are used to.
Despite many internet jokes about family pets loving the attention, our dog has gone from lucky to get one walk a day to a dog who easily has four or more walks every day. It is a good reason to have a little alone time! As for the rest of the day, there are many trials and tribulations to so much ‘together time’ without regularly scheduled activities to keep us busy. With that in mind, I’ve been reading many articles with tips on how to help everyone emotionally manage this unusual time.
A few favourites to help manage are listed here:
Psychology Today has a fun article called The Singing Cow. The key message being, “never try to teach a cow to sing. It doesn’t work and it annoys the cow.”, a great lesson to remember as we spend more time together and sometimes are frustrated by the behaviour of one another!
Having trouble locking horns with your child overdoing their schoolwork, jobs around the house or really anything at all? Dr. Ross Greene (well-known for his book The Explosive Child) has an 8-minute video for you on how to begin to address these confrontations. A significant part of this is not addressing it in the heat of the moment.
The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor is well known as a motivational book for companies. Microsoft Education has produced an interview with him applying his principles to learning and students. The idea boils down to developing a routine of ‘Happiness Hygiene’, which he likens to brushing your teeth – a little daily maintenance goes a long way! (For his happiness hygiene tips, read Oprah’s article, or this Ted Talk on Linking Positive Brains to Performance).
Jim Kwik, the ‘brain expert’ likened this time in our lives to a butterfly, “…When thinking about how to look at self-isolation and social distancing in a positive light, the butterfly came to mind. The butterfly is a powerful symbol of change but more importantly, for self-transformation. They begin as a caterpillar and embark on an incredible journey, where through the process of metamorphosis, they transform into a butterfly. It’s a powerful metaphor, speaking to our own ability to move through our life cycles…”. Think of your family and relationships as going through this process and how you can shape each.
We leave you thinking about Kwik’s quote and your journey with your family through this time. We have time to be together and transform our relationships and memories that will last a lifetime. Achor suggests in his interview that while in self-isolation, look back on people you’ve lost touch with and reach out, not widening your circle but reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances through social media, email, and the telephone.
We look forward to connecting with you at Star as soon as we can!