Amidst all the things in this time that people seem to perceive they have less of, one thing most of us seem to have in abundance, is time.
There is the saying “be careful what you wish for, you might just get it” and if I think about how many people complain continuously: “If I just have more time I can…”
Well now it seems we all can do that which we have never before seemed to have enough time for.
What are you going to do with all this time that has been granted you?Because even if it came to us in a seemingly undesirable way, we are still gifted with it.
Practical ways to use our time in this time, is to first and foremost stick to a routine to keep things ticking over as normal as possible. Write out a list of what a normal day consists of for you and decide where you need to make improvements and changes so that it will fit this “new” normal.
Do not fall into an unhealthy cycle of binge watching movies and eating junk food or play computer games all day.
Most of us will need to do most of our cleaning ourselves now. Draw up a roster to devide house chores fairly. Children can do a lot more than you think. Even a little child can make his bed, put his clothes in the laundry basket, pack his toys away and feed the animals. Just be tolerant of his level of doing it. This is not the time or place to be perfectionistic. Lower your expectations of what a clean and neat house should look like and save you all a lot of stress now that the household engineer is off duty.
In fact, now is a good time to get your children to cultivate good house keeping habits. Make it fun. After everybody cleaned up for an hour, we can watch a favourite movie, play play dough, go for a walk in the park, bake something together etc. Every body is motivated by a reward for work well done. You can Google to see what chores your children ought to be able to do themselves by what age. A teenager can pretty much run a household if they need to.
While house keeping habits are cultivated, also instill sanitizing habits and have fun with soap that make a lot of bubbles to see who can produce the most foam- this will also motivate children to wash their hands longer.
Exercise for your sanity and health. Go for long walks in the park or on the beach with the dogs. Play ball games in the park or on the lawn. Do whatever makes you happy. Do not start jogging if you are going to hate every moment of it. You need something you can maintain. Teach your children to dance, or just put your favourite music on and let it loose. All that house work will also use up quite a bit of calories.
Limit screen time. It is tempting to use the tv and computer as baby sitters, but too much screen time is bad for every one and a waste of time that could be used more productively.
Enjoy this unique time you are forced to spend with your family. It is time you will look back on in the future with fondness, once you are back on track again. Create new family rituals. Begin that ambitious family project like that promised tree house or the quilt you want to make with your daughter. Tell your kids the family history and look at old photos and family videos. Sort through each room, closet and drawer and throw out what does not bring you joy any more.
At last you have time to sit around the table and have family dinners and lunches and breakfasts…you have time to cook slow food that are healthy and nutritious and time to teach your children to cook. Why not start your own family cookbook for each one?
This is also a good time to reassess your priorities. How can you change your life to be a better quality life for you and your family? What needs to change to bring you closer together? Do you really need to go to work, sit hours in traffic and waste a lot of time? Can you do most of what you do at home and just go to the office as needed?
You also have time to think about how you spend money. What are you doing without now, that you can do without in future as well? Gym membership, fast food and restaurant meals, the pub crawls, the endless beauty and hair salon visits, having the pets groomed and the garden maintained by someone else because you never have time? What other streams of income can you successfully generate from home? How can you start up entrepreneur opportunities for yourself and others in the community. If each of us in future just mentor one other person every year, just think how strong we can make our local economy?
The free gifts of time and energy are granted all of us.The difference lies in how we plan and balance it. How are you going to use these precious resources in this unique time?
Any ideas to help us use our time more profitable and to the advantage of others? Let us know.