Coronavirus: Forced Rest

Dealing with COVID-19 and housebound children

We live in a culture that values business, and we wear our exhaustion like a badge of courage. In fact, if you have managed any level of balance, you might be regarded by others with an undercurrent of skepticism, if not outright suspicion.

Perhaps COVID-19 can be seen as a way to force us to slow down…to enjoy the present moment. We as a species were running ourselves and our planet ragged, showing no signs of slowing down. The consequences on a microcosm of individual lives were not enough to force any significant change, and so we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic. We are once again trapped in our houses, with our families, our stockpile of necessities, a lot of time on our hands.

Panic! Resignation. Repeat as needed.

The panic that crept through the population is understandable. “How are we to go on as we had been?!” people keep asking, but that is the type of thinking that got us here to begin with. We were “functioning” at an unsustainable rate.

Now forced to a screeching halt, we are left with nothing but lots of space (physical, emotional, intellectual). That is literally what is required to resolve the pandemic of COVID-19, but also the global pandemic of wearing our “busy-ness” like a badge.

Once the panic wears itself out, we may find ourselves in a place of healing. With nothing but time, we can look to find what is truly of value, that which has been there all along but utterly drowned in our striving to keep up with contemporary expectations.

The creativity required to adapt to our current circumstances is the hallmark of humanity. New ways to work, new ways to share community, new ways to spend time with loved ones…without strangling them. We have it within us; our species is resilient and brilliant when we tap into the space we normally don’t have time for.

A few “old-timey” things to help stave off cabin fever with kids:

  1. Go on a walk. Go further than you normally would…why not? 
  2. Write a letter, perhaps to someone who might be alone right now.*
  3. Read a big chapter book together.
  4. Have a family dance party.
  5. Spring clean.
  6. Bake something new.
  7. Cook a new meal using only the ingredients at hand.
  8. Play “the exquisite corpse” game.
  9. Tell tall tales around the hearth.
  10. Go to your room and journal, draw, or play alone to reset.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @toledoareaparent for more tips and updated information. Tag us in your best social distancing antics! Use the hashtag #toledoparents.

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