From someone who had to adapt to isolation far before Covid19-
I was once a very active person. Now, I was never a fitness guru, or marathon runner, or anything like that- but I did go to school full-time, and work two jobs that both wanted to be full-time. I was busy, busy, busy. I was convinced that I had to be that busy in order to succeed and be worth anything (but that’s a story for another time.) I used up every hour I could possibly make my body go trying to make time for work, school, family, & friends. A typical day for me was up by 9am-11am to be at school, 2pm-4pm go to work, until close at 9, then off to the next job until 4am. Then do it all again the next day. I was very social, and constantly surrounded by people.
Looking back now, I have no idea how I accomplished a schedule like that- but I did- for awhile, anyway. Then I got sick… and sicker… and sicker…and I ended up with no choice but to figure out how to adapt. So, I did. I had to do a bunch of trial and error to figure things out, so I thought maybe I should write a blog post to help people during the Covid19 “Stay-at-home” orders. There are all kinds of adjustments that can be/have to be made when you are needing to keep your distance from others. I’ve tried to approach it from different aspects to hopefully cover just about anything you need. Read on for my guide to adjusting to this time in your life.
Isolation: Why & How
I’m going over this briefly because one of the most important weapons for mentally fighting the isolation, is understanding exactly why it’s happening, & the proper way to go about it. Explain it to your children (in appropriate language for their age.) Most of this you’ve already heard, or can read on the CDC’s website (not linking here because I have them listed below,) but here’s what I feel needs to be emphasized:
- This virus is basically as contagious as the common cold. We’ve all had a cold, and we all know how it spreads once someone in our environment gets it. That’s how you have to think of this virus. Everyone will likely end up with it, we just need it to happen AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE.
We are taking precautions now to:
- prevent worse happening later
- save as many lives as possible
- give our healthcare workers a fighting chance
If we don’t do this- and do it RIGHT, we could:
- Lose a WHOLE lot more people
- See a much more significant long-term financial impact than will already be happening
When you have been ordered to stay at home & maintain social distancing:
- Take it seriously, & make sure everyone in your family does, too. One person not being careful will expose an entire household.
- No contact means NO contact. No friends over, no parties, don’t let the kids go play with the neighbors, etc.
- When you MUST go out for essential items-
- wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer between every errand & if you touch anything that could expose you
- send only one person, if possible.
- Buy for a week so there are still supplies left for others.
- Stay far away from anyone while shopping
- avoid prepared foods
- wipe down everything as it goes into your house- including the soles of your shoes. I generally try to throw away any bags the supplies arrived in because that’s what is handled the most.
- Ordering out to support our economy is understandable, but please make sure you are ordering from somewhere you can trust to be careful preparing your food
If everyone follows the guidelines, it will allow us to get back to our “normal” as soon as is possible, but make no mistake- it may take awhile. If it does, we have to handle this & stick to it as long as needed. We can’t waiver just because we are bored, or worried about making money.
All the money in the world doesn’t matter if we lose half of our people. They can’t be replaced.
Use the links below to stay up-to-date on information about the pandemic:
My own Covid19 Landing Page where I’ve compiled all virus-related content & I update daily:
Switching To a Virtual Presence
Having to go from the real world to a virtual one can be an experience. There are a variety of factors that can contribute to how difficult the transition can be, but there are also all kinds of solutions for making it easier. I’ve found some great articles for you to read through that can really help with work-from-home issues, organization, and some great tips for making yourself be productive. I had planned on doing a more thorough piece of my own, but I found some really great articles already written, so in the interest of getting this out quickly, I’m providing those links below for you to take a look at.
Tools To Help With Business & Working From Home
Managing Mental Health
When isolated, mental health is a big deal. It can get very lonely, leading to depression. Isolation can also make you anxious & sometimes even paranoid. Staying on top of your mental health is key to staying healthy and sane during the chaos of the coronavirus. Thankfully, mental health professionals all over are making their services available via video calls, and also putting out tons of tips for keeping your mental health in check. I have some articles listed that can really be helpful. Aside from everything they tell you, also remember:
- If you don’t get yourself handled first, and make sure you are mentally and emotionally well, you can’t make sure you’re loved ones are okay. Ignoring your own thoughts, fears, & feelings about what is happening is a risky game to play. Facing all that, and processing your emotions right out the gate, will be better for all involved. Kids especially will be able to sense if you haven’t dealt with all the emotions you’re having, and they’ll start getting scared and confused. Show them that it’s normal to feel fear and worry, and reassure them that you are doing everything possible to keep them safe.
- Developing a daily anxiety management routine can be helpful for keeping your mental health managed. I have written out my own daily routine (you can find the link on the Anxiety page I have listed below,) along with some other tips & tools I created, for anyone who wants an idea of how to go about it, or would like some free, simple grounding tools to use. There are also plenty of websites, and social media accounts, to follow, that are about Anxiety & a variety of other topics. Between my own content, and the outside resources I’ve listed for you, hopefully there is plenty to help with any mental health concerns you have.
My Anxiety & Mental Health Related Content
Other Resources To Help With Mental Health
Helping Kids with School
Since schools are shut down all over, I know many of you are stressed over being able to help your children continue getting their education. This is totally understandable. I mean, we aren’t all teachers for a reason, right? It’s not an easy job, but I have faith that any parent that really wants to help their child, can, because educational companies all over have stepped up to offer free help all over the place. There’s even a good chance that your local school district is partnering with one of them to make virtual learning easier on your kids. You can access them, too, and find extra projects, help for whatever you’re studying, and even educational games.
Some awesome bloggers have compiled lists of these sites. I’ve included their articles below to help you find anything you need. Other than all the information they’ll be giving you, a couple of things to keep in mind:
- When homeschooling, it’s not necessary to give them all the hours of “class” they would normally have. In school, much of that time is spent on lecture, discussion, and administrative duties. At home, you don’t have to worry about most of that, so only about 2-3 hours is needed.
- Take time to breathe. If you’re getting frustrated, and tempers are running high, there’s probably not a whole lot of learning happening. Take a few minutes. Think of a different approach, if necessary. There is always more than one way to teach something. Everyone learns a little differently, so figuring out what works best with your kid will help you tremendously. Some people need visual cues and props, others need to actually be doing whatever it is, themselves, in order to learn. Music is another way some people learn. Get creative.
Free Homeschooling Resources: Listed according to subject and grade level. Very good list of resources that is updated regularly
Occupying Your Time
You’d think there’d be plenty of stuff to keep us busy around the house, like cleaning, policing the kids, etc., but all this time at home will eventually lead to just plain boredom, even for the most productive of people. When that time comes, you’ll want to check out these articles, because they have some great ideas for passing the time. You can full-on learn a new skillset, like survival, or you can just find some fun, free things to do. It’s all on how involved you want to get. In addition to my own content I’m listing, and the articles I have here, there are many other ideas out there for you. I’ve linked to the Written by Dida account on each one to give you somewhere to start.
- Pinterest is great for projects, hobbies, & recipes. You can find just about anything there when it comes to do-it-yourself anything. Gardening, home improvement, gourmet cooking, sewing, art, and hundreds of other skills, can be found- complete with step-by-step articles and links to videos.
- YouTube has all kinds of videos that are “Guides” to doing just about everything. There are also plenty of music videos, comedy skits, TV shows, etc. You can find just about anything for any age level. Just be sure to check any videos you are allowing your children to view to make sure it’s age-appropriate.
- TikTok can be hours of distraction for both adults & teens. They are short videos made about everything you can imagine. Good and bad, so make sure you’re really monitoring use if you allow your kids to use TikTok.
- Instagram is good for finding everything from motivational speakers to amazing dancers, musicians, & anything else you want. There is a great community of people for almost any topic you can imagine.
If you want some accounts to check out on any of those, I’ve listed a bunch that I follow on my “Good Stuff” pages. There are dozens of individuals & organizations covering a wide array of topics. I’ve also included a link to the graphics I make covering all my topics, and to my blog posts, in case you want to do some reading. Below those are links to those articles I found that have some great ideas to occupy your time.
Things To Do on Written by Dida
Things To Do
I hope all of this can help you get through this time without it being too hard of a struggle. I know it isn’t easy to adjust, but using the tools & resources that have been made available to you should make it a bit easier than trying to handle it on your own. I am always available via social media or email for anyone that wants to reach out.