We are living in interesting times. The past few weeks have been unsettling, but they have also provided our family an opportunity to adapt and grow. What I’ve discovered is that maintaining existing routines, establishing new family routines, and respecting our time alone has helped us to thrive as we have been reunited under the same roof.
As an entrepreneur, I have been working from home for the past year. I have a very disciplined routine that has helped me to be strong and healthy mentally, physically and spiritually. I know that to be the best version of myself, I must invest in my self-care. My morning routine begins at 4:30am or 5 am and consists of devotionals, morning pages, meditation, gratitude and yoga. My exercise routine has evolved to my home yoga practice, live streaming videos from my local studio, and daily walks outside, regardless of the weather. The fresh air has been so beneficial, and seeing nature continue to move forward has been reassuring.
My adult daughters are both home from college and during their first week back they struggled to adjust to home, living together again as a family, and adapting to the uncertainty of when they would return to their lives. They were both plucked from their lives, their friends, and their routines quickly and without closure. They’ve been able to settle into their new lives after establishing their own routines focused on self-care, creativity and productivity.
One of our new rituals is preparing and eating breakfast together. We have been nourishing our bodies to stay healthy with green juices and smoothies first thing in the morning. In the evenings, we cook dinner together as a family and eating more slowly, discussing our days, and planning for the future. We look forward to watching funny shows and movies, or playing games. On Sundays, we worship together as we watch our church’s streaming service online. We even took a long to drive together to the lake and played music and played car games along the way.
What I’ve seen during this time is that alone time is critical for each of us. Because we are together in our homes most of the day, having time to retreat and be alone without judgement or questioning, has been critical. We have been respectful of each others’ needs and space. We retreat to our bedrooms, offices, outside, and even the basement to recharge, regroup and rest. Then we emerge when we are ready to reconnect.
Leveraging technology to connect
My zoom account has been very active these past few weeks, and not just for work. We’ve used zoom to reconnect with friends and family and even celebrate a birthday.
- My college housemates and I now have a standing meeting on Tuesday evenings where we see each other and share what is happening in each others’ lives. Because we live in separate cities, we haven’t been able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all together since college. This year, we celebrated virtually and it will become a new tradition.
- Our local friends joined us for a virtual happy hour to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We spent over 2 hours eating our own snacks, sipping wine and discussing what we are grateful for.
- We Facetimed with family to sing happy birthday to my husband as we cut his cake and he blew out his candles. While we were not together physically, he felt loved and appreciated.
- I have started leading live, virtual yoga classes for friends. It was a great way to see people I care about, provide a service they are seeking, and feel like I am adding value.
- Every morning I lead a free meditation and gratitude class to anyone who is interested in creating more stillness, relieving their anxiety, and building a community who will emerge stronger afterwards.
What I’ve discovered is that routines are critical, but we also have to be open to try new things to stay connected, create community and recharge when we need to. Staying healthy, mindful, creative and productive are critical to enjoying our days thoroughly and emerging stronger on the other side.