Waking up this bright but cold Saturday morning, I felt a wakeful delight at the prospect of having no plans, no commitments and no work! However, as my mind began to rouse and wander, I realised that, due to the Coronavirus, every day could be just like this, and unexpectedly my mood began to lessen.
The realisation that for the next few weeks or months each morning might bring the same conflicting feelings brought about by uncertainty. No work, no challenge, no sense of achievement and no connectedness with people (other than my fellow inmates (family)) means that my life is no longer under my control. So how can we adjust to this situation and make it bearable and possibly even fruitful?
Human beings need structure and routine. It is a basic need, particularly for children. Without that structure we feel uncertain and chaotic and for children this can feel void of control and predictability, i.e. scary. Take some small measures to mitigate against these unhelpful feelings. Don’t be tempted to sleep late and burn the midnight oil. Instead, set your alarm for your usual time and continue to go to bed at the usual time.
Start to plan each day providing experiences that give a sense of achievement, a sense of enjoyment and a sense of connectedness with others, for both you and your children. Find ways to build routine and structure.
Timetable those tasks you have previously avoided due to lack of time; take the time to pamper yourself without need for guilt or self-reproach; Skype that friend with whom you have lost touch. You may never get this opportunity again (hopefully) so look for some positives!