How To Survive And Thrive In A Coronavirus Quarantine

how to thrive in coronavirus quarantine

by Emma Viglucci

It is a crazy time in the world, and it behooves us to take care of ourselves well to properly weather this storm, and come out as unscathed as possible after this is all over. Let’s make smart decisions, and set ourselves up to actually thrive. Yes? OK, let’s do it!

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting every thread in the fabric of our lives; from where and how we work, to how our kids are educated, to how much internet bandwidth we need, to what food we have available, to how we entertain ourselves. Even to how much toilet paper we have to wipe our butts with (LOL, a little humor never hurts)!

How we initially choose to respond to this challenge will have a trickling effect in all areas of our lives. While we don’t want to overreact, be alarmists, and trigger panic, we do want to be responsible in all our actions and decisions.

It goes without saying that some behaviors and reactions are just not acceptable. Like racial distancing, violent, illegal, or completely immature behavior. There are some crazy arrest stories in the daily news. Seriously?

For those that have been lagging in taking this situation seriously, because “you are not worried”, you are putting yourself and others at risk. You don’t have to believe this is a dire lifestyle changing situation, if you don’t want to. But, why not be proactive and responsible, nonetheless. Just in case you are wrong. You have nothing to lose in being cautious. The phrase: “It’s better to be safe, than sorry.” was coined for a reason.

For example, I rarely come down with any disease or sickness. Therefore, I’m not one to worry about getting sick. I can be exposed to sick people, and not catch what they have (or at least not be symptomatic!). Yet, I moved all our in-person sessions online to protect clients from each other. Also, I could be a carrier and infect others, and not even know it. So, I’m doing my part in reducing the chances of any additional virus spreading.

Thus, being proactive and responsible means: Self-quarantining at any indication of exposure or infection. It means avoiding unnecessary risks, and practicing conscientious Social Distancing with respect and compassion. It means following all the guidelines presented by qualified authorities, and where we believe they are lagging, taking our own appropriate preventative actions.

Us here in the USA do have the rest-of-the-world exemplifying what to expect. We are smart, we can make our own inferences. We don’t have to wait for all planes to get grounded to cancel travel plans. It is our responsibility to enact sensible personal urgency, and take proactive initiative for our own safety, and the safety of others.

Once you are onboard with doing your part in the face of this coronavirus craziness, the next thing is to set yourself up to seamlessly weather the storm. I’ll even go as far as suggesting how to get the most out of this situation, and to look for possible opportunities to enhance your loved ones’ lives in the process.

NINE WAYS TO CHANGE YOUR CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING

Setting Up Your Family: With everybody in the family possibly being stuck at home for the next couple to few weeks, adjust your daily routine, home spaces, and activities to account for all family members’ needs…

You might want to get up earlier to take care of chores, and other responsibilities, that would take longer to do with everyone underfoot. You might build in special lunch and snack times. You also might want to tweak the usual nighttime routine to make it more soothing and attuned to everyone’s needs.

Work From Home Schedule: When working from home coordinate work schedules, and childcare coverage, with other adults (partner, family member, friend, nanny/sitter) to maximize productivity and great childcare. Don’t try to juggle everything by yourself. That just creates overwhelm, chaos, reactivity, acting out, anxiety, stress, and exhaustion…

Be flexible on how you tackle your “work hours”. Depending on the nature of your work, discuss with your supervisor a flexible plan to “put in your time” and get your work done, so that it’s not necessarily the traditional 9 to 5 hours…

If regular office hours presence is required, discuss covering the “9 to 5” requirement in smaller shifts by your teammates or coworkers, and to have meetings scheduled during certain times of the day to allow for more flexibility for everyone. Other work can be completed off hours as needed.

How To Get Your Work Done: Also, when working from home, protect your work time by allocating a workspace that’s free from distractions. If you live in close quarters; get creative on how to establish a reduced distraction space at various times throughout the day (or night)…

Of course tackle all the other practicalities by having supplies and everything else you need organized in one place. Have passwords, and access to all platforms and accounts handy, use online shared spaces/apps to collaborate, upgrade your internet speed and software as necessary, plus have a backup system in place…

This preparation will eliminate multitasking, lack of focus, related frustrations, and help to manage stress, time wasters, and increase your productivity. You might get your work done quicker, and actually free up more downtime for yourself.

The Kids Schoolwork: Just like you are setting yourself up to be productive with work, you have to do the same for school age children. They might require different supervision during “schoolwork” time than during “free-time”. This is to be managed by the “covering” adult. Use your judgement on which adult covers what particular time during the day…

Also, set up children for cooperation. Explain that this is serious, and they are expected to cooperate, behave, and be responsible for themselves, and their schoolwork. This might be a good time to revisit your parenting style, how you discipline, guide/teach, support, encourage, and inspire your children…

Be careful not to be too different from the usual, as that’ll create more resistance, and potential acting out. Keep things light, simple, and reassuring while providing guidelines and structure. Children do best when they know what’s expected, and what’s going to happen. Layout the day in front of them to create security. Remember, they are affected by the coronavirus upheaval too. Praise and celebrate their cooperation.

Creating A Daily Flow: Aside from managing routines and time, you can manage and use your space to flow through the day with much more ease. For example, use different parts of your home (even if it’s just different corners of a room); for different types of activities…

Designate rooms or spaces for work, schoolwork, projects, fun and play, downtime, relaxation, tv watching, etc. This helps the brain to “get with the program”, and willingly cooperate. This also helps to better manage the mood, focus, and energy of everyone.

Beyond The Basics: Outside of responsibilities and doing the business of life, here is where things can get really amazing. This is also where we can look for possibilities for great things to come from these tough social-distancing times. The silver lining, if you may. I see parents flipping out about having to entertain their children longer than usual. This is where we can be role models, inspire them, and help them to thrive…

Aside from looking for more toys, games, crafts, TV shows, movies, and gaming apps; how about also looking for opportunities for growth and development. This can range from learning how to play an instrument, explore a new language or culture; binge watch the science, history or documentary channels; focus on a specialized interest, take on a new hobby, etc…

This can go as far as taking a talent or gift; such as music, art, writing, entrepreneurship, technology, debate, caring for others, or anything else, and creating a project for it. The project can be just for kicks, or for higher accomplishment and impact. The sky is the limit. This is specially a great idea for middle and high schoolers. They can take on something new, and get totally consumed with it.

Enjoying The Connection: Another terrific benefit of this imposed togetherness is the togetherness itself… LOL We usually have such busy and hectic lives that we don’t slow down enough to really be with each other. With less extracurricular activities, commitments, events, travel, commuting, etc, we now have more free time on our hands, and more free time with each other…

I know this is scary for most,  but this is a gem when done properly. Create specific times that are designated family and couple time, regardless that you are all together all the time. The different designation implies different focus, energy, activities and such. This is how you’ll move from a boring routine of togetherness and potentially getting on each other’s nerves; to actually enjoying being with each other…

This also means, creating separate times to be individuals. You can’t be part of the whole “team” all the time, it can get to be too much. Therefore, intentionally build “me time” into the routine, and honor it wholeheartedly. This, of course, is for everyone in the household…

Our daughter, Vanessa, is already amazing at carving out and protecting her “Nessy Time”. She knows that she needs some down-alone-time, and she makes sure that she gets it. LOL

Your Partner And Your Relationship: Of course, take advantage of the Couple Time. You’ll have a chance to connect differently than usual, so seize the moment. Here you can explore common interests, different fun, deeper intimacy, more TLC, etc. This covers the whole spectrum of being with each other…

*From increasing fun by exploring interests, like cooking different cuisines, learning new skills, exploring other topics or concepts, taking on a new hobby or project, listening to influencers or other fun podcasts, reading the same book, and just being playful with each other.

*To nurturing the relationship with doing Appreciations, keeping a Positivity Journal, creating a Vision Board, stepping up the caring gestures with your Love Languages, being super intentional about being present and attuned, flirting and increasing affection, ensuring of moments to be intimate.

*To enriching the relationship by reading relationship success material, learning relationship tools and skills, working through any kinks that would usually cause a problem, focusing on changing and upgrading how you show up to create the relationship you want.

Self-Care Is Paramount: It goes without saying; to not forget your self-care. It is imperative that you don’t forgo your usual self-care routine (tweak as necessary). Also, if you don’t currently have a self-care routine; create one now!…

It doesn’t have to be an intense lineup of things that you do. But, do be mindful to create some moments to recharge and reconnect with Your Self. The world is a better place for you when you do…

This can mean soaking in the tub before going to bed, keeping a Gratitude Journal, meditating before you jump out of bed, getting a workout app to replace the gym, giving yourself “spa treatments” from facials, to scrubs, to mani/pedis, to just sitting quietly with a cup of tea…

Here are three of my favorite go-to app names or creators: Rachel Talbott, Mindful Movement, and Love Sweat Fitness.

This challenging time doesn’t have to be the undoing of us. It could be a blessing in disguise, and the unexpected “doing” of us, if you know what I mean. How about we operate with that mindset from now on? You’ll be surprised at the “yumminess” that starts flowing from within.

ASSIGNMENT: Take note of what your go-to thoughts are, how you are feeling, and how you are managing yourself, your family, your home, and your work…

Identify where you can change up your mindset, and align your mental approach for better outcomes. Where can you be more intentional and proactive in your life? There is no need to overdo, or overcompensate, anything for any reason. Just notice it, realign it, and take gentle, caring, and yet swift action as necessary.

Be mindful about how this imposed lifestyle change can actually be a blessing in disguise, and full of opportunities to design the life you want, so embrace the change, instead of blindly resisting it.

ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENT: Support businesses that are losing foot traffic by purchasing gift certificates to be used at a later time, and think about how else you can be proactively supportive in your community.

PS: We have a 1-Day Virtual Event; the Relationship Enrichment Bootcamp™: That day is packed with thought-provoking and mindset shift concepts. There are simple, yet extremely powerful, transformational, and easily implementable tools for immediate results. Also, I delve into the 5 Elements of the Successful Couple Strategy™ during the event.

Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC; a private practice that specializes in working with couples. She is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy, and a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples to succeed with their relationship, and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma to receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth, Relationship Enrichment insights, and strategies. Visit her website: www.metrorelationship.com

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