By Melody Joy Paine
If there are days you feel like being a bump on a log, you are not alone.
If you have thoughts of how wonderful it is to be surrounded by your beautiful family one minute and the next you are craving alone time, you are not crazy.
There is no right way to think or feel in a crisis. So, give yourself grace for however you need to cope. And, while you may question your ability to remain calm, here are 8 strategies to help you maintain beauty in quarantine.
1. Focus on the simple joys
Even in the midst of chaos, there is beauty all around you – in the little moments.
You can try to capture moments with your camera or even on your phone. You can even enlist help to connect and make positive memories. Family Stories, for example, focuses on creating positive, authentic memory associations by capturing feelings, sights, sounds, touch, and the environment through photos and films.
Simply taking time to step back and focus on life through a different lens can help you preserve memories of this unique time of connectedness with your family. When you and your children look back at this time, you will not remember the statistics or the finances, you will remember the love that surrounds you. You can learn some tips and tools by visiting DIY Family Stories tutorials.
2. Move together
There’s no denying the way you feel after you allow your body to move.
When you are given the opportunity to practice yoga or move with your children during a time of isolation, you get to explore your bodies in a healthy and fun way. Movement as a family builds trust and that’s what helps you and your kids feel safe.
Plus, movement doesn’t require any equipment at all! In fact, the only requirement is your body and an imagination. I can’t tell you how many animals I have turned into while moving on the floor with my children.
It only takes seven minutes for the feel good release of endorphins to remind you that it feels good to move. And, your kids will enjoy the time they get to spend with you during stressful situations like these.
If you don’t know where to start with movement activities, try yoga for kids!
3. Read fiction
I don’t know about you but my brain is most certainly not functioning optimally right now.
My husband had to say my name five times tonight before I came out of the fog of thoughts to realize he was actually talking to me!
It certainly isn’t a cure-all for mushy brains, but according to Psychology Today, reading fiction improves brain connectivity and function. If nothing else, you can escape into another world. If you are not into reading good-ole paperbacks, check out the Audible library. They also have a great free selection of audiobooks for kids.
4. Commit to a 2-minute morning every day
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod is a great book for creating a solid morning routine to set you up for a great day. But, if you are struggling to peel yourself out of bed every morning, then start small by committing to a 2-minute morning. In The Science of Success Podcast, Neil Pasricha gives three simple journal prompts for strengthening your mind to start the day: “I will let go of…I am grateful for…I will focus on…”
It’s amazing how such a quick and simple mindfulness practice can set your mind in a better place to tackle the rest of the day.
5. Practice Yoga
Here at Pretzel Kids yoga, we know how important yoga is for maintaining peace and relieving stress.
While you can roll out your mats and do some kids yoga poses together, you can also find an online yoga class or enroll your kids in an online children’s yoga class.
The most important thing is to start where you are! Yoga is for everyone!
6. Listen to Brene Brown’s new podcast, Unlocking Us
Motivational speaker Brene Brown is airing these episodes from her home right now, so the topics she addresses are very relevant for our current quarantine situation. A research professor at the University of Houston, Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She’s the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers.
My husband and I love listening to these together after putting the kids down for bed. It gives us something to talk about where we can focus on improving our wellbeing as individuals and a family unit.
7. Practice meditation
This is true for both parents and kids, so practicing meditation together as a family will help everyone! Visit Pretzel Kids resources for more information:
8. Prioritize quality sleep
When the rest of the family is finally in bed, it is tempting to stay up into the wee hours of the night soaking up the beautiful quiet that surrounds you.
This glorious peace is a great way to refuel at the end of a long day. Yet, it is just as important to make sure that you are getting enough hours of quality sleep. This helps you more effectively deal with the chaos of managing everyone and everything during the day.
Finding Peace and Calm is Possible ?
Finding peace and calm really is possible – even with a full house.
While you may not feel calm all the time, it’s key to maintain a positive outlook. So, remember to find #beautyinquarantine and embrace the imperfections of life! This way, you can pick yourself up when you fall down.
About Melody: Melody lives in Brimfield, Ma. with her husband, three children, and a deaf dog named Bruce. Through her business, Family Stories by Melody Joy, she preserves the simple joys of life through photography and filmmaking. She loves capturing families’ everyday moments because pictures and films have a unique way of putting us right back into the moment to relive memories. Melody believes everyone has a story that deserves to be remembered. Her work gives her the opportunity to change people’s lives for the better by giving them new eyes to see the beauty of life, exactly the way it is. Lately, Melody has been sharing her stories via her hashtag movement #beautyinquarantine.