Nobody likes the idea of further extending the need to stay indoors but, despite the relentless vaccination efforts to combat Covid-19, it seems like we’re going to have to stay inside for the rest of 2021. And while that doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing to expect, we can at least be thankful for the fact that we see some form of progress and still have more than enough time to adjust and utilise this opportunity of extra time to keep close with our loved ones.
However, although families are now in proximity to each other and seeing one another every single day, they’re actually growing apart instead of becoming closer during these trying times. And so, today, we’ll be getting to the bottom of this problem, investigating what’s causing it to happen, and figuring out actionable steps we can all take to prevent it from escalating and move in the other direction.
Stress Brings Out the Worst in Us: Parents, Teens, and Toddlers
While the increased use of gadgets and social media apps may appear concerning, screen time is the least of your worries because what should concern you the most is the amount of stress generated by isolation, cabin fever, and trying to juggle everything at home. It doesn’t only affect us parents, but the same applies to our teens and toddlers, with everyone fighting their own battles from remote work to distance education — it’s tough.
- Fuels Your Mind with Negative Thoughts: Everybody sings songs of praise to mental resiliency, but no one is exempt from the adverse effects of stress, fuelling your mind with negative thoughts and radiating the same to those around you. And if your kid’s busy with schoolwork that they can’t seem to wrap their brain around while you’re trying to crunch a report deadline in the living room, it’s no surprise why you’re actively avoiding each other. If, by any chance, your stress accumulates and bumps into each other, it would make a huge mess and a big argument.
- Strains Your Mental Health & Well-being: Good stress exists, the type that challenges your mind and teaches you to move past your preconceived limits. However, the stress plaguing households worldwide is by no means good, and it’s actually straining a family’s mental health and well-being. It clouds their judgement, immensely decreases one’s productivity, and can, in worse cases, lead to the development of terrible habits.
But It’s Not Impossible to Overcome with a Bit of Effort
Not to fear, though, because it’s not entirely impossible to resolve this issue, so as long as you’re willing to put in some extra effort. And while every family situation is different, the recommended steps to take will, at the very least, give you a rough sketch of what you’re supposed to do if you’re dealing with the same problem.
#1 Explore Unique Family Activities You’ve Yet to Try
Exploring unique family activities that you’ve never done together in the past introduces a healthy change of pace that can effectively break the monotonous cycle of doing the same thing over and over again. So, if you want to cleanse this curse of stress that’s rampaging around the household, it’s in your best interests to find something fun to do when everybody finally has the chance to catch their breath.
For more hands-on activities, we strongly recommend starting a DIY renovation project because nothing feels more satisfying than building something from scratch and seeing your plywood brackets and shelving turn into something useful.
#2 Engage with the Community and Some Volunteer Work
It never hurts to offer a helping hand. If you’re in a pretty good situation as a family, engage with the community by doing volunteer work once everybody’s schedule becomes free. You’ve probably haven’t seen your neighbours two blocks down for quite some time now, and that goes double for your kids who haven’t seen their friends face-to-face since everything began. So, a bit of volunteer work on the side nets you two benefits, destressing and community collaboration.
#3 Plan a Quick Vacation Next Weekend
A car and some fuel can do you wonders over the weekend, and as long as you follow health guidelines or, better yet, actually have everyone vaccinated for Covid-19, then nothing can top a quick weekend vacation. Sure, bingeing on Netflix with the family can be fun. Still, nothing beats seeing actual landscapes and picture-worthy scenery on an ultimate road trip, which makes the prospect of domestic travel all the more appealing. Plus, bunching up together inside the car encourages talking and keeping each other company, so there’s plenty of opportunities to make timeless memories.
Don’t Let the Times Bring the Family Down
Yes, times are tough, and no one denies it, but it shouldn’t dictate how stressful your family feels because your reaction to the issue is yours alone to decide. So, don’t let the times bring your family down, and feel free to try out all the different suggestions of having some classic family fun any time you want.