With self and mandated quarantines on the rise, school closures, and employees either urged or forced to work from home, we are all being challenged to adapt to this new normal. While staying home might be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, it can become tiresome after a few days. Britt Riley, founder of The Coggeshall Club and it’s parent company, The Haven Collection – the country’s first fully-licensed daycares to offer unlimited co-working and fitness to all member families – has the following recommendations to make the most out of this time. The key is respect and planning!
Carve Out Designated Workspaces for Each Person at Home
The bedroom for one and the kitchen for the other. Even if you live in a tiny apartment, you can give everyone their own functional spaces.
Establish What I Call “Blue Zones”
These are areas used for privacy during all important meetings, calls and times when complete focus and silence is necessary. This is likely not going to be your favorite place to hangout at home as it could very well end up being your car, or in you bedroom or the bathroom – what you’re looking for here are the quietest, most private and secluded parts of your home possible to engage with your calls and meetings uninterrupted, just test it out to be sure they also have Wi-Fi and good cell service.
People are Really Productive When They Know They Have a Set Amount of Time to Get Something Done.
Sit down with your partner when you know you are coming up on time which you will all need to work from the house and put together a game plan. There is likely one person who is more organized in your couple – if its not you than ask your partner for help putting together a detailed schedule of each of your day’s including any scheduling for your kids, your fitness and selfcare time as well as your plans for meals.
Identify the meetings and calls which you both will need to take in the “blue zone” and be sure that the other respects and understands their duty to help keep the kiddos (if you have kiddos) or cats or dogs away from that area while you work.
Identify the Hours of the Day You Each are Most Productive
And set those times aside for each of you to get your work done, some people may be more efficient and productive early in the morning while the other may work best late in the evening. If you are facing a period of a couple of weeks of quarantine for the COVID-19 virus you can adjust your day to day to build in the majority of your meals together earlier in the day and understand that this is a time where you will likely be working to a very different rhythm than usual. Once you know this and accept it, you can nail it and succeed.
This is a time where we can all show how well remote work arrangements can be for companies and employees alike. While we feel as though with kids, the structure which our Coggeshall Club for example provides is the ideal scenario, it is not impossible to make it work at home successfully for a an indefinite period of time, it is just more challenging.
WORK IS RELATIVELY PREDICTABLE WHICH MEANS IF YOU PLAN WELL AND ARE DEDICATED TO MAKING THIS A POSITIVE PERIOD OF TIME YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SUCCEED AND TURN IT INTO A GREAT EXPERIENCE FOR ALL.
Set a Daily Schedule Which Mimics Their Daycare | School Schedule
Complete with time outdoors and planned times for naps, meals (Lunch as a family? During the week? Sounds special for all involved!) You can set aside time for art, crafts, science projects and reading/quiet time. It will be an adjustment to stick to but if you create a schedule they will enjoy being part of the structure. It’s not every day we get to get a glimpse into your kiddo’s thought processes while they work on their lessons.
Allow Educational Screen Time If Necessary
In this two week window, it could very well be that you need to draw a slightly different line in the sand with regard to screen time than usual. While it is always discouraged for children under the age of 2, if you have a slightly older child – educational screen time could be just what you need during more challenging times throughout the days.
Encourage Rest Time, Even If Your Child Doesn’t Nap
This can be quiet time in their rooms to read or just play on their own, giving you a break to do what you need to do in those moments. At The Haven Collection of Clubs, we practice meditation prior to rest times, the kids spend close to five minutes practicing self awareness and quiet. For longer naps – a darker space and the Savasana app is helpful, they have body calming Yoga Nidra’s which are fantastic for helping kids enter deep and much needed sleep cycles without a fuss.
Without question there will be some stressful moments. We are fortunate enough to be able to control what we can control (work, self, fitness) in order to reframe the way we look at this time with the kids. Whether or not it is a weekday or weekend, you will likely experience their behavior differently than their teachers would.
Accepting the reality that your kiddos behave differently with you than others is an odd compliment; being their safe space also in many cases means being their opportunity to learn limits and boundaries they cannot learn from their time with others.
With the Kiddos: Patience, Organization, and Planning
in all other areas of your day will make all of the difference when it comes to how much you are able to enjoy your “tiny new coworkers” and work environment.
Squeeze in a Workout or Meditation
In a time like this, it’s important to reduce stress as much as possible, so your workout routine is as important as ever. Anticipating that gyms and group fitness classes may not be an option, turn to YouTube for free exercise videos.
Incorporate Your Exercise into Your Child’s Outdoor Time!
Play a game of tag or hide and seek and really get into it to get your heart pumping. Have a basketball hoop nearby? Play a little one on one with your partner or a game of knock-out. Or with smaller kiddos, you can teach your tiny wobbler how to kick a ball, they love learning how to use their new found legs.
Yoga and Meditation are a Challenging Way to Deeply Calm Your Mind
Teaching your kids how to do yoga is not only a great way to stretch but also a fantastic way to bond, it’s also ridiculously adorable. If you have a child who is 18 months or older, do yoga with them, it may take a few sessions before they are doing downward dog and child’s pose but stick with it and a few days into it you’ll be taking notes.
There is a Silver Lining!
If you try to look at this as an opportunity to spend time with your partner or kids in a way you don’t normally get to.
Energy and mindsets are different for everyone mid day, and if you schedule your time in a way which gives you the freedom of mind to engage with the kids when you are able to engage with the kids than you can enjoy the days with more patience and admiration.
Working together as a team to decide that this will be a successful time, plan the things you can plan, and spend this odd couple of quiet weeks at home together. There aren’t too many opportunities for partners to work together and get a peek into each other’s day-to-day, and that can even be a spark for some…your cute coworker just happens to be your partner as well! Witnessing and admiring each other’s professionalism is a great way to create or deepen a bond.