Sometimes life forces us to be home together and we can either view it that way or embrace it as an opportunity to deepen our family bond.
I am not going to add to the current fear and panic in our society so instead of focusing on the negative let us all look at the extra time home with our children as an opportunity. Mindfulness is truly about our intention and mindset. If you have the opportunity to be home with your children for the next week or two, maybe you can use it as a time to make some mindful changes as a family. Now, more than ever our children (and us parents too) need the tools of mindfulness to navigate the outer world.
Let's start with your intention.
Would you like this week to be one of getting little chores and household projects that have been pushed aside done? If so, how can you make this something everyone can enjoy? Here is another post I shared about decluttering with kids.
You can frame this time as a deep spring cleaning and this kind of decluttering can be really fun.
You can let your kids hold fashion shows with the clothes that are fit for giving away.
They can use items you no longer want to make into crafts or figure out a way to upcycle them. This can be like a mini engineering project.
Another option, is if you find expired food items--letting them practice their science skills by mixing the ingredients together to make the worst smell they can.
If you need to paint a wall, you can set up some paper on your drop cloth and let them paint a picture.
This is a perfect time of year to garden. If you have weeding or pruning to do-get them outside helping or get them some seeds to plant. Or let them make a fairy garden out of things they find around the home. Also, being outside is incredibly grounding for everyone and focuses on what we can control.
This staycation time can also be a time to start new, mindful routines.
Now is a great time for the family to come together and learn meditation and/or yoga. Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to begin a new habit and get it to stick. For younger children I highly recommend Cosmic Kids Yoga. This channel is full of various yoga sequences and meditations. My four-year-old seriously practiced an hour (the channel has Saturday Morning collections) because he was just enjoying it so much! If you have older children than they may prefer something less obviously kid. I recommend the channel Yoga with Adriene. There are playlists where you can navigate length of time, level and even part of the body that needs a good stretch. She has meditations too!
If you are not quite ready for the above, then try beginning your mornings sharing what you are each grateful for and taking a few deep breaths. This practice will help you begin your day in a state of joy.
Another idea for deepening your spiritual practice as a family is using sprit or oracle cards together. My daughter has this set, I have a bird set and my husband as an animal set. We will often let one another pick cards. It is really fun and can be used as a beginning to a new affirmation or meditation.
If your child is feeling disappointed, depressed, anxious or worried about the state of the world right now, it maybe a good time to begin journaling with him or her. This activity will allow your child to have a safe place to release their worry and fear. Here is a post I wrote about journaling with my daughter.
This time home together can be a great opportunity to learn a new skill or dive deep into something new. If you want to make sure your child is still learning during this time off together than discuss something your child would like to learn more about or come up with something new you all want to learn.
If your library isn't open right now then you can always use the free app Libby, which allows you to sync your library card up and borrow books for free! You can even have the app read certain books for new readers to them and it highlights the words as it goes.
YouTube is a place where you can learn just about anything, and sometimes your kids can learn directly from another child (just make sure to preview videos and use YouTube Kids). But you also may know some cool things that your child doesn't, like how to bake a cake or do a cartwheel.
You can have your child do a project, a report, a slide show, a model of something they are really interested in learning. This kind of deep learning is one of the best things for your child and when they are truly learning about something that interests them they don't need much motivation.
Bob Ross is on Netflix, you can set up some paint and paper and have the whole family try a paint night with Bob and see what happens. It will be relaxing and a lot of fun.
Crafting and art in general are great for being home because it gets everyone in the creative mode and really can uplift.
Lastly, this staycation may not have been your idea so here are somethings to help keep your vibrations high as well as everyone's moods. Here are some ideas for you, the parent.
Play music, in general it is a major mood lifter. Have a dance party, karaoke contest or lip syncing battles. If you have older kids, have them share the music they are into and share old stuff you liked at their age.
Read and or watch nostalgic and/or fantasy stories. It is natural to want to escape right now and a good distraction might be what everyone needs (just don't over do it). You can host a movie marathon or have a movie night a few times a week where you all get to escape together. This summer, our family watched the entire Marvel Universe movies in chronological order (not order of release) and it was super fun! We also recently showed the kids Willow (on Disney +) which really hit both the fantasy and nostalgia spot.
Cook and eat comfort foods together. There is something so yummy and mood enhancing eating things you love. There is no rule saying that cookie baking is just for Christmas time.
Get outside, especially if you haven't been sleeping. Upon waking, go outside without sunglasses for about 15 minutes to get your body on a rhythm. Even if the weather isn't ideal, it is so good for your mood to look up at the sky.
Practice affirmations. Here is a whole post I wrote about them. Positive self-talk has been proven to affect our physical and mental health for the better. You can keep it simple by saying things like, "I am safe and healthy." throughout the day.
Journaling is a great place for you to express yourself. A good activity is to write down all the fears you have and then rip up or burn the paper to let them go. Oppositely, you can use this time to strengthen your gratitude practice by writing down things you are thankful for. Let the list freely flow and re-read it when you are feeling worried or anxious.
It is ok to unplug right now. Take a news and social media fast. Use that time to read something uplifting instead.