I wouldn’t know. My kitchen clock stopped working and that’s where I spend most of my day. And, we won’t have one anytime soon since home-decor is not on my priority list in light of the current state of the world.
Due to the Covid-19 quarantine, my kids are home from school for an undetermined amount of time. The initial projection was three weeks off (plus a week of “spring break”) and so my mind started swimming trying to figure out what ‘home-learning’ might look like. I have a million ideas but sitting down to put it all together is challenging because to add insult to injury (or perhaps injury to insult in this case) I threw out my back on Sunday.
Ugh, so, regardless of what the clock would say if it was still working, heck yeah it’s wine o’clock, or for someone like me who prefers beer, it’s Miller Time!
Moms, if adjusting to your new normal has you barely making it through the day during this Coronavirus school closure, something’s gotta give. It’s time to get organized and prepare to be in this for the long haul.
That was me by Day #2: making a plan. I decided it was time to implement consistent daily habits. Creating order and structure has helped me take charge of this uncertain time and control the things I can control. It has helped me have a better attitude, improved productivity and to be a much-needed role model for my kids. Here’s my plan:
1. Time Management: Have a detailed plan for each “school” day. Ideally, this would be done at the start of the week on Sunday evening so you’re prepared for the week to come. Consider using our GracePace: Home Learning app!
2. Wake up at least an hour before the kids and take care of things that will take you twice as long once they’re up. I wake up at 5 am and my kids get up at 8:30. While there is research that supports the 5 am wake-up, I’m by no means mandating that you adopt this practice, however, by getting just a one hour jump on the kids, you can be remarkably productive! Then you can focus on them when they are up and moving.
3. Journal and Reflect. Rachel is a huge fan of this practice. Journaling can have a plethora of definitions. It can be free-writing for a set amount of time or a simple brain dump list. It can include affirmations and goals. It can be writing a letter to your future self. There are endless possibilities! Rachel finds that it helps clear her mind and organize her thoughts. She spends about ten minutes a day on this practice and notes that on the days when she skips it, she’s keenly aware of it. I’m getting there, myself. It used to seem like just one more thing to do but I will say, between the early start and taking just ten minutes a day to “journal”, I’m starting to see why she’s so passionate about it!
4. Get ready for the day. This includes showering, getting dressed (with a bra, Rachel), doing something with your hair and wearing shoes. Shoes are a game-changer for me productivity-wise. I have a pair of athletic shoes that I only wear indoors. If you don’t have a pair, toss a pair in the washing machine and let them air dry. You will be amazed at how you zip around the house all day. You may recall from You Never Have to Spring Clean Again that Rachel refers to hers as her “fast shoes.”
5. Make your bed and have the kids do the same. Do it every day! When you complete a task first thing in the morning, even one as simple as making your bed, you feel a sense of accomplishment that kick-starts your motivation and elevates your productivity level for the entire day. If you’ve never heard this speech by US Navy Admiral William McRaven to The University of Texas, it will inspire you to always start your day by making your bed!
6. Eat well and at scheduled times. On regular (non-quarantine) school days kids eat their breakfast at a specific time. Likewise, schools have dedicated lunch and snack times. When we started the quarantine eating meals without a schedule, I found that everyone grabbing lunch and snacks whenever they were hungry wreaked havoc on my kitchen. It was constantly a mess. Plus, by dinner time, no one was hungry at the same time and I wasn’t about to accommodate five different dining schedules. So, we now eat together for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At lunch, we listen to a podcast. Here’s one of our go-to’s: Business Wars.
7. Exercise and take mind-body breaks. Move your body every day. There are plenty of good YouTube videos, subscription services, and even video games dedicated to fitness (we love Just Dance and I can beat all of my kids at it, just sayin’). Also, remember to take time throughout the day to rejuvenate your mind-body connection. Here’s how: take just ten minutes every hour or so to stretch, meditate, or take a brisk walk! Even though it doesn’t sound like much, it is what allows your body to soldier on throughout the day.
8. Keep your house tidy. This is hard with all the extra bodies roaming around all day and the added caveat of three meals a day being consumed at home by the entire family. Delegate chores to each family member to ensure that tidying up becomes a part of everyone’s daily routines. I’m gonna say it again for the skimmers: DELEGATE CHORES TO EACH FAMILY MEMBER. YOU DO NOT WORK HERE MAMA. WE-ARE-FAMILY!
9. Focus on you. Schedule time every day to do something you love. Paint your nails, take a bath, take a nap, drink some wine, have a beer. Ooh, read a book with your wine/beer! It is said that if you read just 10 minutes a day, you’ll average a book a month – incredible, right? Not having time is no longer an excuse!
10. Establish a healthy bedtime routine. Go to bed at a decent hour and get 7-8 hours of sleep. If you need an explanation, read Z is for a Happier You!
It only took a day or two to implement this new routine and see a positive change in how our entire family faces each day. Our stress level is down and our level of happiness (and sanity) is on the rise. What does your new normal look like? Leave a comment below with any tips you have on getting through the quarantine with grace! Oh, and enjoy Wine O’Clock responsibly!