I have spent the last few weeks checking in with friends and family alike to see how everyone is doing. Phone calls. Email. Facetime. Zoom. Marco Polo. Voxer. Etcetera. As one who is always looking for ways to limit screens and online habits, it seems to be a lifeline right now for all of us. And we are all grateful over here.
I have made so many recent lists considering what to do, what to write, what to require right now. Scratch, toss, begin again. Planning feels a tad empty at the moment. Maybe you are feeling sandwiched by it all, too. Bodies crammed under one roof for too long, swimming heavy emotions, activities compounded into screens, business and schoolwork and hobbies merging into one shared mental, emotional, physical, or digital space. The reality is everything is different, even for those of us who have managed a multi-purposed home for years.
As I noted in my recent homeschool quick-start guide, homeschooling is more than simply doing schoolwork at home. So I’ve heeded my own advice this week to breathe and recognize my emotions or exhaustion, to slow down, and make some helpful pivots for our home right now, beginning with these three questions:
What will we remember about these weeks at home together? What is the opportunity right now? How can we help others?
Find a few minutes of quiet, at least once a day.
Clean out closets and bathroom drawers.
Check on neighbors and find ways to serve them.
Make meals at home and eat together.
Donate food and other needed resources to our local food banks.
Focus on schoolwork that brings joy.
Light candles during “work hours,” especially on moody days or early mornings.
Prioritize comforting rhythms like baking, reading, board games, and painting.
Minimize unnecessary screentime.
Clean up common spaces at the end of the day.
Work in the garden.
Give thanks in all things.
Although none of these rhythms or ideas are new to our home, and most likely not in yours either, they are taking higher priority right now while we remain homebound and find ways to help others. We are moving more slowly through our days, playing board games nearly every night, and giving thanks every time we are able to sit outdoors in the yard. I have more to share next week in ways we are seeking to help people within our community and beyond.