Having a Family Plan for Routine and Structure Within
Your Home is More Important Than Ever
During These Uncertain Times
By Marijean Storlie, Early Learning Coordinator, Hutchinson Public Schools
Just a short time ago, we may have had a regular routine for our family that worked like a well-oiled machine. However, when COVID 19 came knocking on all of our doors it brought that routine to an abrupt halt.
For the first few days, following the pandemic’s outbreak in our nation, it may have felt more like a “staycation” for you and your family. Your regular routine went out the window and in its place came in a very fun and unstructured way of daily life. Then, the reality of the need for a regular and structured routine set in, and you ask yourself, “How do I establish a new and temporary routine for my family during this time, and what does that need to look like?”
Throughout this unusual school year, whether we are in a hybrid, distance, or in-person learning model, here are a few simple ideas that you can implement to help maintain your family’s health, social and emotional well-being, as well as a sense of normalcy.
- Have and keep a morning/evening routine for everyone in your family. This includes a regular waking/bedtime routine, a regular morning and evening hygiene routine, and ensuring that everyone is eating nourishing meals.
- Have dedicated work and play spaces as well as regular work/school hours and play times for everyone. This will help everyone get more accomplished during work/school times leaving the planned times for fun and family to happen without stress and anxiety of the work and school that was left incomplete.
- Try to set healthy eating, exercise, and sleep habits and spend time outside whenever you can. This could be the perfect time to ask yourself what healthy habits and lifestyle choices you want to try and implement for your family.
- Try to limit your exposure to the news. While it is important to stay informed about the virus, we should avoid overloading ourselves with information. Set an amount of time for watching and or listening to the news, just as we do for our children’s social media, and then move on with your day.
- Stay connected with others. As we all know, humans are social beings and as social beings, we crave connectedness with others. Try setting a time each day for all your family members to connect as a family unit but also a time to connect with at least one other person each day. Maybe this could be the time you choose to call an old friend or a family member that you have been meaning to call but just haven’t had the time to.
Remember this is a “temporary” new routine for your family. Taking the time to establish your family’s new routine will support and cultivate positive habits, re-establish a sense of purpose and meaning, and help everyone in your family feel secure and safe during this time of uncertainty.