To say our routines have been disrupted at the moment is a bit of an understatement.
With the kids set up for school at home for the time being, our partners working in the other room (and talking way too loudly TBH) and everyone working in a new home office and/ or school environment, it’s been a swift adjustment that has had both ups and downs for a lot of us.
While we can’t control the external factors that are shaping these current circumstances, one thing we can do to moderate the effects of all this change is to keep a consistent routine.
Routine is the salve that provides a sense of normalcy in a topsy turvy time. We only have so much brain-power for decision making each day—it is proven to be a limited resource—therefore we can give our brains a break if we stick to a routine.
Routine also creates comfort for our little ones as they can rely on certain things to happen each day. Whilst there are some things that will change and we need to adapt to, we can mitigate the stress of this by setting up our family’s days in a way that is as consistent as possible.
Try sitting down as a family and establishing how the routine will work, just as they would at the start of a new year or term. This takes the guesswork out and creates safety. These expectations will also help minimise your distractions through the work day, as everyone will know how their day is structured. The idea is not too be too stringent or feel pressure- do whatever feels right.
Each child and family are different and only you know what will work best for you but these are some tips from the Spencil team (tried and tested but a work in progress!):
- Wake up at the same time each day and create a morning routine or practise. This might mean having breakfast at the same time and getting dressed in the ‘home uniform’ (even if that’s just shorts and a comfy t-shirt) and starting school and work at a consistent time.
- It might even be helpful to fit in some movement like a bit of dancing or a walk around the block before everyone sits down to start their day with energy and a clear mind.
- Try to sit in the same workspace, set up for the day ahead with stationery, water, snacks and learning tools.
- Schedule in regular breaks for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea- you can even pack a lunchbox with snacks so the kids can go outside to eat them in the sun, after a bit of a run-around (and not distract you every 30 minutes with ‘I’m hungry!’)
- Distinguish school time from home time with an activity as soon as the ‘bell rings’
- Catch up with friends and family via Zoom, Messenger, FaceTime or whatever app that helps keep your little ones connected with their school friends.
- Do something fun on Friday evening to signify the weekend- after all, you all deserve it!!
Try some of these ideas and see if they help to have a productive and calm week. But if things don’t go according to plan- just pivot and come back to the routine when you can. Afterall, we are all doing our best and our best right now, is good enough.