July has only begun and the summer doldrums have hit us hard. How do I know? Here are some signs at our house:
- A certain member of our household gets very excited and has a somewhat dreamy look in her eye when the library is open for picking up book holds.
- That same member of our household complains about the lack of available snacks when the usual crowd-pleasers have lost their snack status.
- That same person talks dreamily about her friends in California and even looks up our former place on Google Maps.
- That same person checks out the same tie-dyed masks on Etsy several times a day, but has very little to say at lunch or dinner time.
- Mom guilt is real, raw, and nagging at my heart multiple times a day as I dream of the days when we could just get together with friends, screens were considered a treat, and summer camp was glorious for everyone.
- A certain member of the household emerges just long enough to complain about politics.
- A certain other member wonders if internet addiction still counts as an addiction during a pandemic.
It’s hard to stay motivated during a pandemic. It’s not uncommon to feel symptoms of depression, anxiety, boredom, and stress during these difficult times. Here are a few ideas for keeping yourself and your family entertained, even if only for a little while:
- Come up with a fun or quirky hobby: For a while, we would check out houses for sale and drive past them. It got us out of the house, my daughter loved talking about the pluses and negatives of each place, and we got to know our island a little better.
- Clean up: Little by little, I have been tidying up our place and sending stuff to the thrift store, now that it is finally open. It’s a nice break in between working on business stuff.
- Exercise: Ever since having a really bad health scare and the weight I gained from working too much in a sedentary job, I have really enjoyed taking back my health and getting outside.
- Audio books are great for the whole family: I listen to inspirational and self-help books on Audible on my daily walk. My daughter and I are listening to Lord of the Rings while we do laundry or art together.
- Try out new recipes: I found a grill for sale and our whole family has been enjoying grilling all sorts of items. I have also taken advantage of this time to share some of my recipes from my hometown with my daughter. She even took the time to learn how to make conchas herself! I was very impressed and proud.
- Watch funny or silly videos together: All around us is a lot of negativity – from statistics about people dying from coronavirus, people who have lost their jobs, people killed because of the color of their skin, riots across the country, etc. It is important that we know what is going on, and do what we can to help. At the same time, we need to take time for ourselves to recharge and cope. Humor and entertainment help us get through the dark times and keep going.
- Reach out to old friends: One of the real blessings in all of this is that I have reconnected with a lot of old friends and made some new ones as well. Call someone up, write them a letter, join a Zoom meeting.
Does anyone else have any ideas they can add? I would love to hear from others how they are surviving the shutdown this summer.