Creating An Effective Routine For You And Your Family
The coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns, self-isolation, and quarantines have meant we’ve needed to rapidly adjust to a new way of life. How do we structure our days now we don’t have to wake up early to commute into work?
What do we do to fill the hours that the children used to be at school?
Both children and adults alike thrive on routines, so it is important to set out some kind of structure for the day; whether that be a simple structure of just set mealtimes or a more detailed timetable of activities if it suits your family.
Establishing A Routine
Hold a family meeting to talk through everything that needs to be done during the week whether that be work, schooling or household chores and set realistic goals for these to be achieved. If everyone has an input into the schedule, then it will be easier to stick to and hopefully you will have less resistance when it comes to completing tasks such as homework.
A Positive Start To The Day
It’s easy to slip into weekend mode whilst you are self-isolating at home but to ensure you have a positive start to the day it’s important to get up as normal and follow your usual morning routine of getting dressed and having breakfast. Whilst the occasional lazy morning lounging around in your pyjamas is fine, making this an everyday occurrence won’t help motivate your family to get things done and won’t do much for your sense of well-being.
Balancing Working From Home
While for many, the prospect of working from home seems idyllic, the reality of having to juggle work commitments and a hectic family life simultaneously can be daunting. At the start of the week plan out the time that you need to be at a computer for conference calls/meetings and to get your work done. Be realistic with your expectations and discuss these with your employer to ensure that that they are reasonable during this unprecedented time and that they are aware of your childcare issues.
If you live in a two-parent household, it is important to discuss your workload with one another so that you can establish how your working days are going to run alongside taking care of your children and hopefully you can create a schedule that allows one of you to focus on work whilst the other can supervise the children. However, if there is a time where we will be both needing to be working there isn’t anything wrong with an occasional movie afternoon with popcorn and blankets!
Making Time For Family Fun
Schedule in some free time for your children to just play and enjoy the additional time you get to now spend together as a family. Whilst the weather is warm it’s a great excuse to get outside and play in your gardens – can you create a treasure hunt or set up an obstacle course?
Remember school isn’t just about learning Maths and English – children are used to going to school and spending their days with 20-30 other children. They will miss the social interaction that school gives them so make sure you are adding activities to your routine that allow you to engage with them like baking or playing a game.
Try to include one form of exercise a day into your routine – not only will it keep you fit and healthy, but it will also improve your mood and your sleep patterns! Exercise together as a family whether that be going out for a short walk around your neighbourhood, taking part in a family friendly fitness class or playing a game in the garden.
Be Flexible And Realistic
Whilst a schedule is great for giving you an outline of activity don’t forget it’s important to be flexible. Not everything will go to plan so don’t put pressure on yourself to stick to any timetable. Your children might want to change the activity, or your work diary might change throughout the week.
Be realistic about how much you can achieve in a day, particularly when it comes to your child’s education. Set small specific goals and anything extra you do is a massive win!