You might be feeling a little stir-crazy right now but with these tips for staying sane while stuck at home, you can make the best of it!
No need to get cabin fever when you have these helpful ideas for staying sane while stuck at home. Whether you are snowed in, helping sick kids, or home for some other reason, these ideas will keep you from tearing your hair out or eating through the entire pantry!
I’ve been a Stay at Home Mom for nearly twelve years. My five kids are spaced only six years apart so I’ve had years and years of practice being shut in at home. With newborn twins born during the flu season you can bet we didn’t venture out very far for long – not to mention they are kids four and five so I definitely didn’t want to bring all five out at that point!
Yes, the days get long and very groundhog-day-esque. It’s a new term and very fitting for not only the Stay at Home parent life, but for many of us these days. It’s hard to remember the last time went somewhere other than the kitchen or basement let alone what day it is!
After all my years at home with little kids, I’ve learned a few tricks for helping myself stay off the crazy mom train. When I feel myself edging down the track I have to do one of these to come back to reality again. My kids don’t need any additional craziness right now!
Ideas for staying sane while stuck at home
1. Time with Jesus
Lately, I noticed myself spending far too much time on social media and news sites looking for updates about the pandemic, school closures, and new cases. I was drowning myself in fear instead of running toward the Great Comforter. Since getting back into my morning Bible time my brain and heart have both calmed down.
I really enjoy the Bible App from YouVersion. I’m currently going through The Bible Project | The Bible which takes the reader through the entire Bible in one year. It will take me longer than a year because I only use it a few times per week. It also includes videos every few days to explain how the book, characters, or concept is woven throughout the whole Bible story. I love learning how the Bible is one complete story!
If sitting down to read your Bible right now seems like too much, consider using the audio version. I actually use the audio and written version together I use my physical Bible to follow along with the audio version and I feel as though I’m retaining more than just reading on its own.
You could also turn on worship music to spend time in God’s presence which is far greater than living in worry and fear. It definitely helps get me out of funky moods!
2. Take a Shower
When you aren’t going anywhere it’s easy to let some things slide… like showering. No one is going to see me and I’m already trying to do ALL THE OTHER THINGS so I’ll just skip the shower today. And then two or three days have gone by and I’ve gone from second-day hair to I can’t comb my hair and oh my goodness, is that my smell?
I took a shower this morning after skipping it for two days. Holy heavens did I feel better! I got things done. My head felt free and clear.
I know the skipping shower thing as Stay at Home moms is a funny joke, but it’s amazing how much some hot water and soap helps. Remember when your kids were babies and super fussy? Remember how a bath was calming and could change the mood of the whole house? Same thing. Whether you need to plop the kids in front of a movie or wait until nap time, do yourself a favor and take a shower.
3. Physical Activity
Getting out for a simple walk around the block each day is huge for my mental health! The kids and I are careful to stay away from others but the fresh air and occasional sunshine (on the rare day it comes out) lifts all of our moods. We’ve been trying to take a walk each day after lunch so the little boys are tuckered out and ready for naps when we get home.
Stuck inside due to weather? There are endless options for physical activity! Have a dance party, check out Cosmic Kids Yoga or Go Noodle to get the whole family involved. I like using the Samsung Workout Trainer app for my personal workouts before the kids wake up. Even just 15-20 minutes of stretching is incredibly helpful to my moods!
4. Brain Activity
Being told you can save the world by watching Netflix and staying on the couch is great, but we need more than that! My attention span goes from reading a book a day to barely reading a page a day when I go on a Netflix binge. I love tv and movies, but I also want my brain to put in a little effort.
Pick up a book, put together a puzzle, work on sudoku or chess. The choice is yours! Turn off the tv and find something that requires those synapses to fire a few extra times today, And with the kids at home you have the perfect chance to tie in your own brain work with your kid’s schoolwork. Research a topic together or pick a book to do as a read-aloud to get everyone’s brains functioning again.
5. Quick Pick-Up
Clutter is a peace stealer. Ever since my year-long decluttering challenge, I have learned that the more piles of things around my house the more anxious and closed-in I feel. The same goes for a dirty kitchen. Other rooms can get messy but a messy kitchen makes the whole house feel like a disaster.
Set a timer and do a quick pick-up of a room. Or pick a spot and work until it’s done. Whatever method works best for you, do it. I typically work on dishes and cleaning off counters when I can tell the house is overwhelming me but there might be a different spot that needs your attention.
6. Chat with Friends
Zoom and Marco Polo have become so helpful while stuck at home. Zoom is great for in the moment chats and perfect for getting several people together at once. My MOPS group has held a few video calls and it’s wonderful to see faces and get updates on each person. Even the kids’ classes are doing Zoom calls so the kids can see each other and this is so wonderful! My social kids are really appreciating seeing their friends since this closing was so abrupt.
Marco Polo is also a video chat service but instead of doing it live at the same time, you send little video chats back and forth. It’s basically texting but without typing. It’s tied to your phone number which feels significantly better than an anonymous profile. I love being able to send a friend a quick video and then know she can respond when she has a moment, unlike regular video chats that you need to be present for in order to make it work.
If you aren’t a fan of video chats there is always regular texting, email, and even snail mail when you are stuck at home! Keeping connections going with those outside your home is nearly as important as those inside your home.
7. Creative Activity
I’ve been so impressed by the sheer amount of creative activities available right now. There are art tutorials, music tutorials, and even museum tours available online.
If drawing, painting, or singing isn’t your thing (although now is a great time to try something new!) then get in the kitchen and bake, learn to knit, or try your hand at some other creative venture.
I’ve been baking with the kids and we’ve also been practicing our drawing skills with lots of tutorials from Art Hub for Kids. I may or may not have checked out the Official Harry Potter Knitting book just before everything shut down, even though I haven’t picked up my knitting needles in years. I guess now is as good a time as any!
8. Practice Gratitude
Above all, never forget what is good in your life. You might be told to stay inside your home, but at least it’s a home with shelter from the elements. You might have multiple children that you are trying to coordinate schooling for but yay for teachers and other professionals that are an email or phone call away. You might not have access to all your favorite foods and places but yay for contact-free delivery and loads of virtual visits for zoos, museums, and theatre available online.
I have a free 5-day Gratitude Challenge available that will be delivered straight to your inbox each day. It comes with printable verses as well as a printable gratitude journal for you to get your heart and mind focused on the good in life.
What you should NOT do while stuck at home
1. Live on social media
I get it. I’ve definitely been spending far more time scrolling on Facebook and Instagram lately. More of my friends are active right now since they aren’t working and there are so many funny memes everywhere that it’s good for a giggle. But it’s not feeding my soul and it’s definitely not helping my anxiety or mental health. It’s fine to hop on, but spending all day every day scrolling is not helpful.
2. Obsessively watch or read the news
During the first week of this, I refreshed our local news and paper’s websites over and over to see what was happening. When nothing new showed up and I would switch to Google’s news curator and see what was new in those headlines.
Give yourself a few blocks of time throughout the day to check the newest updates if you need to but otherwise, it’s okay to completely block it all out. As long as you are staying at home and following current mandates, you don’t need to know what the current numbers are or what others are saying. It’s more than likely not going to change drastically for a while so hunkering down with your family and blocking out the rest of the world for a few days isn’t a terrible thing.
3. Hide your feelings
No matter what you are feeling right now, it’s completely valid. If you are overwhelmed, scared, or anxious, that is okay. If you are thankful for the time at home with your family, that is okay. If you are mad, upset, or disappointed about any of this, that is okay too. This is a new experience for all of us and we can’t predict how we are going to feel. And those feelings can change drastically from one day to the next or even one moment to the next! Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your kids about not only how you are feeling, but how they are feeling as well. Let them know it’s okay to be scared, disappointed, or excited. The problem only comes when we use our feelings as an excuse to not act appropriately. It’s okay to be upset, but it’s not okay to use that as a reason to be unkind to others, ya know what I mean?
Feeling like you need some help navigating this new world of staying at home? Perhaps some help working from home, teaching your kids, or staying on top of your mental health?
Introducing the Stay at Home Survival Bundle!
This brand new bundle from Ultimate Bundles is specifically designed and curated for this unprecedented time in history.
Whether you find yourself suddenly homeschooling your kids, dealing with financial stress from decreased hours (or maybe you’ve been laid off completely), scrambling to figure out what to do now that the daycare is closed, or grieving the changes to your life and schedule, it’s okay to feel sad.
If you’re like most of us, you’re also feeling a little stir crazy! But man, oh man do the folks at Ultimate Bundles have our backs!
This digital collection of 21 resources includes kids’ activities, parenting resources, tools to work from home, self-care resources, and more.
Here are all the categories of resources inside the Stay at Home Survival Bundle:
- Kids Activities – 7 resources to teach your kids about nature, how to draw, learn to read, and more!
- Parenting – 4 resources to help you discover your family’s screen time formula, how to homeschool (when you never imagined you’d be doing it!), and more!
- Organization – 5 resources to reverse engineer those processed food recipes and learn how to develop your favorites, adjust your life to be kinder to our planet, create your own digital scrapbooks, and more!
- Self Care – 3 resources to give you a little rest and relaxation like coloring pages, or reveal what’s been holding you back.
- Work at Home – 2 resources that will tell you where to find companies who hire remote employees, plus how to launch a service-based online business quickly.
These times are hard, but I think the Stay at Home Survival Bundle can make things just a bit easier and maybe even a little fun.<3
The parenting section even includes one of my soon to be released products – Family Conversation Cards! This pack of 80 conversation cards will get your family talking together about more than just the virus. The questions range from deep (What makes a good friend?) to lighthearted (Would you rather do 100 push-ups or 100 jumping jacks?) and are easy enough for everyone to answer.
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