Covid-19 is on everyone’s mind. It’s virtually impossible for it not to be.
And, this dreadful virus is affecting many aspects of your life, and your children’s lives. It is impacting employment, savings accounts, travel, dining, health care, sports…and the list goes on.
But must it affect your happiness? Your satisfaction? Your joy? Perhaps not!
First, A Moment of Clarity!
Remember: nothing about this article should suggest that Covid-19 be ignored as a threat to those at risk, or that it be taken lightly. There is responsible action required, to ensure that we each do our part in keeping ourselves and our affected community safe.
Having said that, the essential key here is developing the distinction between remaining intelligent and wise versus feeding on fear and anxiety. Our brains are disproportionately weighted to be tuned to fear. We humans are, quite simply, highly susceptible to fear-based messages from a biological and evolutionary perspective. And it’s understandable, as over the centuries of our evolution as humans, this kept us alive from the many threats that existed.
But now, this threat is well-defined. For most readers, you have been educated, you are prepared, and you are taking responsible action. And you will continue to do so.
Now, it’s time to ensure we do not feed on fear, as that will keep us glued to our phones as opposed to being glued to our families and the lives that are right in front of us.
How To ‘Not Resist’ Our Quarantine from Covid-19?
I know that is an oddly stated question, but it cuts to the core first step in finding a joyful path through the quarantines, restrictions, and shutdowns. In speaking with my clients, and in getting emails from the TerrificParenting.com, I find many questions from parents who are struggling because they are holding to a strong resistance to this temporary life, we are leading.
It’s understandable! Our brains tend to resist novelty. It’s what brains tend to do.
Yet, this doesn’t serve us well here. There is little that our mental fighting and arguing will do for us, except to create misery. We can spend our time talking about it, thinking about it, reading about it and commiserating all we want, but nothing changes from all that. We simply waste life. We simply waste time.
“Crisis is Opportunity Riding the Dangerous Wind”
I love that proverb, as it captures the reality of our current situation. We as a world community are in a crisis, and yet, in many ways, we are beautifully riding the ‘dangerous wind.’ And with this, we can find the opportunity…if we seek it.
But look at the elegant presupposition built into this proverb. There is no resistance to the wind that blows. There is no battle against that wind. Instead, the proverb points us to ‘riding’ that dangerous wind, and in doing so, we seek opportunities.
So, my suggestion is to seek! Rather than resist or complain, seek the opportunities here. We cannot escape it, so we must join with our circumstances if we are to be happy, satisfied and joyful during these times.
And do understand this: The moment you deeply resolve to SEEK the opportunities that are sitting in front of you, this entire situation becomes your gift. Everything changes as resistance is irrelevant and only opportunities can be found. These then, can be become transformative moments for you and your family.
Possible Opportunities for More Happiness & Satisfaction:
- Turning off TV, computers and phones to find more time to play games, enjoy Legos, go hiking or even simply read books as a family.
- Offer to serve, by finding organizations needing help to deliver food, supplies or help those in need.
- Discover deeper connections with family by lingering at the dinner table, without electronics, to model a slower, more connected relationships.
- Explore educational paths together as a family, such as learning a language, exploring history or investigating future vacations together.
- Initiate a building project or purchase some amazing models to put together with children (lost relationship tool!).
- Learn to manage the structure and routine of your children’s lives, without so much activity, by mastering the tools of parenting.
- Turn inward, with perhaps a breathing practice, meditation, or contemplation. This too can be done as a family.
Certainly, this is only a beginning of what is possible, but the key starting point is to seek the opportunity rather than ruminate or resist our current reality.
Attention Parents at Home Educating Your Children: If you are struggling…
And yet, I realize some of you may be balking a bit at this conversation, as your struggles are with children’s behavior and how to manage them at home. Prior to Covid-19, perhaps you struggled already with homework, and now this crisis is upon you and it’s even more frustrating. You have challenges in managing your children being at home all day, and you don’t want to sit them in front of a screen for hours on end.
If you are struggling at home: To help those grappling with educating children at home during these times, I will be offering a free online video series starting next week. This will provide detailed guidance in dealing with these modified ‘home-schooling’ situations which can be challenging. You can sign up starting Monday at TerrificParenting.com. There is no charge and no obligation. The goal here is to help parents manage the home efficiently and with ease, while ensuring that children continue to grow and evolve.