We’re All at Home. Now what? Lockdown Tips
At home lockdown tips are essential to all of us right now. This is a whole new thing. As we adjust our lives to life during a pandemic the number of things to handle, think and worry about are shocking.
- Will everyone we love be OK?
- How the hell am I going to afford to be out of work for weeks on end?
Those 2 worries seem almost universal.
But there’s quite a lot of underlying stress about being at home too.
Some of us will be alone. For weeks on end, that can be A LOT.
Some of us will be with a partner who we may adore, or maybe not. We’ll for sure all be more clear on that after being lockdowned together for weeks.
Many of us add children into the mix. The little ones will be going stir crazy. Out of school and no play dates is a recipe for chaos. How bout mom or dad is now your teacher?
Our older kids are mortified that their social lives have just ended for the foreseeable future. They are also old enough to understand that what is happening is monumental and scary. Will the older people they love survive? Younger minds can get damned scared and may not have the emotional intelligence to work through those fears. Those feelings may come out as anger and insolence. We are going to need all the patience we can muster.
Many of us have older parents and loved ones who may have compromised health that we worry about. Can we see them? What if we get them sick? How can we help without hurting?
Will our parents in isolation be lonely? Do our children really not get to see their grandparents for months?
Will we get sick? 60% of us will. What happens then?
Many of us live far away from our families and feel extra helpless. Is Facetiming a couple times a week enough?
For many of us it has to be.
As our attention moves into our homes, the domestic load explodes.
Everyone around all day, making messes, using towels, blaring music, eating up the food we have carefully selected to feed our troops. Who in your home just became teacher too? Many of us run a constant calculation in our heads as to how long our groceries and money will last. Food is going faster than normal with everyone around. Sure you could go to the supermarket, but there’s germs there too. Just who made that fast food burger you are eating? Could they be sick?
Will there going to be enough diapers? Should we make hand sanitizer? Why didn’t we buy more toilet paper when we had the chance? The internal loop many of us are running in our heads never stops. It’s called ruminating and it’s exhausting.
We are told to wipe down all hard surfaces at least once a day. We constantly listen to water running around the house to make sure little hands are getting washed for long enough. How to keep the kids quiet when both mommy and daddy are on a conference call at the house. Just how is this home school thing going to work anyway?
There’s entertaining everyone. There’s trying to be realistic and yet set a positive environment.
As masters of our homes, how do we add structure,organization, and control to a world that seems to be spinning out of control?
We are worried about all the members in our home, our bank accounts, the world, and every sad story we see on the news. A sweet tweet about a kindness instantly brings tears to our eyes. And, every now and then, when the madness in our homes subsides, and we have a quick second, we worry about ourselves.
How will we get through the next few months? At the end of these months will everyone we love still be with us? What will these added stresses do to relationships in our home and family? How’s the freaking out at every cough going so far at your house?
Lots of uncertainty.
Not many answers. We are going to need to make our own paths.
Here are some at home Lockdown tips to think about
- If you’re the “woman” of the house, historically speaking your workload, stress, and unseen labor has just increased dramatically. Recognizing that early and getting help from partners and kids is invaluable. This is a great time to teach new skills and independence. Maybe while your kid is going to school and participating in extracurriculars every night there really isn’t much time left in the day to teach the family how to do laundry or cook a roast. Now you’ve got nothing but time. Enlist help. It’s not “mama wait on me” time. It’s a group of people who live together who help each other. If busy lives haven’t given you time to ingrain those values yet, now is your time. At the end of this, both you and your family will operate more cohesively.
- Take time for yourself. I mean seriously. You’re going to need it. Mental health is critical right now. Read a book, take a bubble bath, pick up a new TV show you’ve been wanting to watch, stare at the wall, have a good cry. We all need breaks. Take yours.
- Learn a new skill. If you are blessed with an internet connection you can learn how to do anything online. Always wanted to learn a new language? You could be speaking some basic Italian before this is over with. Learn some dance steps or to knit. Start that mystery novel you’ve been thinking about for years. Write a guest post for FeministHandbook.com. We are always looking for smart and thoughtful words about equality, politics, and the patriarchy. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dedicate 30 minutes a day to growing as a person. Do the work. You’ll be glad you did.
- Move your body. Walk if you can. Fresh air and sunshine are always good. Keep up your workouts using home items now that the gym is closed. In China there were people who literally ran marathons in their home in big giant loops to entertain themselves and keep their bodies healthy. Now’s the time to do a workout video at home. Pull that dusty step out of the garage. Come out of this healthier than you went in.
- Meditate. This practice consistently ranks as one of the best things you can do for yourself. Shut yourself in the bathroom and take 10 minutes (or longer) and do a guided meditation. There’s a bajillion online for
you to choose from. Headspace is a good one. This will help you handle the inevitable anxiety and stress of this moment in time.
- Know that you are a household of nerves. Some days will be better for you, some days better for your husband, sometimes you’ll be having a great day and the kids will melt down. Some days will suck for everyone. We are all in pain right now. Know it. Give a little latitude for the emotional messes we all are. Patience with everyone is key. The person at the supermarket, our co-workers, our family, and our ourselves. Work on empathy and understanding. The world always needs more of that.
- Encourage feelings talk. Sharing our fears always makes them better.
- Help where you can. It’s a proven fact that when we help others, we feel better about ourselves. Check in with older neighbors. Can you leave some groceries for them at their front door? Can you watch their pet if they get sick? Do you owe your mother a call? Can you support a healthcare worker or first responder in some way? They are headed straight into the path of hell. We need to love them all we can right now.
- Do your part. Stay home. Our world has been hella divided lately. If we don’t work together to solve this pandemic, we never will. The universe is testing us. Let’s pass with flying colors.
- Vote. When you can, however you can. Our current federal government is failing us at every turn on this crisis. We can do better America. The fact that we aren’t should be a glaring message that big, structural change is needed.
- Don’t drink too much. We all need a bottle of wine right now, but it won’t help tomorrow. It also weakens your immune system. Same with drugs. As with everything, moderation is best.
- Loosen up. Rolling with things is going to be a skill we all need. Like the decal says, laugh, live, love.
- Practice gratitude. We all still have things to be thankful for. Cling to them. Write them down. Read what you write. The truth is, there will be sweet memories and kindnesses during this time. Take the time to notice those and revel in them.
We must all remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. We will beat this down, but it’s gonna take a minute or two. And the celebration at the end, is going to be fucking fantastic. With some luck and planning, maybe we’ll emerge better from it.
In the end, it’s up to us. I’m here for the challenge.
Here’s a quick 3 minute read about Sexism and the Coronavirus. It’s real.