I admit, it’s been a long while since I’ve written a blog. But in light of our current situation it felt like the right time.

For many of us the realization of how drastically, and quickly, our lives are changing is really settling in. Kids are out of school, many jobs are on hold for the foreseeable future, entire cities and states are on near lockdown status, and there is so much uncertainty about when this will all end.

This is such a trying time right now and if you’re self-isolating, even with your family, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and like we’re losing control. And, in truth, we might be feeling this way for a while. But if you can, try to shift some of your focus to what you can control. Maintaining your schedule, as much as you can, can help things to feel more normal. And keeping busy will help too by concentrating your mind on the task at hand.

Since we’re all going to be spending a lot of time at home I thought I’d take a few minutes to point out a couple of obvious but easy to overlook ways to keep moving forward.

Routine –Keeping to your normal daily routine as much as possible will help. It might be tempting to sleep in but maintaining your usual wake-up time is important. If you’re able to work from home it should be business as usual. Showering and dressing for work, though maybe a bit more casually, will ensure you’re ready for the unexpected video call. And, if you can use what used to be your commute time and to workout before you start your day, have a real breakfast, journal, or make your bed.

Try to maintain your regular meal schedule. It’s tempting to skip lunch if you’re working from home but you’ll probably find yourself wandering into the kitchen and snacking more often than you should.

Keep your nighttime schedule the same as well. Going to bed at your regular time and getting a good night’s sleep will give you the energy to stay strong right and face the daily changes that are outside of your control

Kids – If you have school aged kids it’s also important to keep to their normal routines. It’s tempting to buy yourself some additional time in the morning but getting everybody, dressed, and fed on their regular schedule will make it easier when they go back to school.

If you child is struggling with certain school subjects now is a good time to help them work on those areas. There are lots of online websites available to help out, like Khan Academy. They started out with a focus on math but have expanded greatly in recent years. And they are have created student schedules based on grade that you follow or use to start forming your own schedule.

Now is a great time to pull out the craft kits and boxes and let them put their imaginations to work. Paint, glitter, glue, tongue depressors, and pipe-cleaners can feel like magic when you can’t get out of the house.

If you have a backyard, weather permitting, send them outside to play. If you’re a parent you know the value of a well exercised kid.

If you think about it, with no distractions outside your front door, this is an opportunity to spend quality time with your kids. Spend some time talking to them about the current situation. Let them share their feelings and try to help them feel more secure. Give lots of hugs, sometimes that’s the most reassuring thing we can do for them.

And, even though this is a time of fear and anxiety for many I’m heartened to see so people reaching out to help others. On local social media I’m seeing so many offer to help those that are quarantined, self-isolating due to high risk factors, elderly, in need of child care or just in need of someone to talk to. I love seeing a community pulling together. And when this is all over I hope we will all remember how nice we were to each other and how easy it was to offer to help out a neighbor.

I know that there is nothing new or ground breaking here but I wanted to reach out to everyone who reads this blog and let you know that I’m thinking about you, about all of us. We’re all in this together and we’re all better together. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share in the comments please do. I’d love to hear from you.

And be sure to check back on Wednesday – I’m working on a list of things to help keep us occupied while we’re home-bound.