Monday 20 April 2020

How to create a routine when everything is uncertain

Inside - when everyone is home, how does anything get done? With a routine!

It's day 1 of learning@home in Queensland, and the world is falling apart parents are quietly losing their minds right now.

From the online learning platform crashing (no one's fault) to kids who don't want to be working at home (sorry neighbour friend) this week is going to be about ironing out the bumps, finding a new routine, and keeping one foot in front of the other.

But with so much unknown right now, how can we keep putting one foot in front of the other? By focusing on the things you CAN control, and creating a routine.

Kids LOVE routines. It helps them to know what's happening next, and what will happen tomorrow. School is a routine. The same subject is taught at 10am every Tuesday, all term.

Adults love routine as well.

➤ routines provide stability - things don't change unexpectedly
➤ routines can become habits - when you do things the same over and over
➤ routines reduce stress and anxiety - knowing what's going to happen next helps
➤ routines allow us room to be creative

How do we create routines when everything is uncertain?

Grab a piece of paper, and let's work through this together.

1 - write down everything that you do each day.

Start with things that don't change, and move on to things that are flexible.

For example, what time is everyone awake? Eating breakfast? What time is dinner each evening?

For us, we're all up by 7am. We usually walk out the door for school by 8am. So dressed, breakfast and chores between 7-8am works for us.

2 - what has your school recommended?

For example, our high school has sent through a recommended daily timetable. It includes information about when teachers are online to help with problems, and self study periods. So for that school block of time, I can note that my high school student will be working, and just check on her periodically.

You might like this post - 10 tips for learning at home

3 - what do you need to do?

I'm still required to go to work on my regular days, and juggle all the mum-things and volunteer-things, and me-things. For a routine to work, everything needs to be noted.

4 - include alone time.

We are not always at home with our families. Even in our worst moments, we get some space from the constant "ON" of life.

But that isn't happening right now. So we need to build it into our days.

Think hard about how you can get that time alone. Like to walk? Kill two birds with one stone, and go for a walk every evening after dinner. Need to get some work done? Tell the kids you're closing the door for an hour, and get stuck in.

(I've officially made our 12-2pm quiet time "mum's door is shut" time, otherwise I'll just be putting out firs all day.)

5 - be flexible.

Things change. Someone becomes sick, you've been up half the night with insomnia, you've been eaten out of the house by teenagers. If it didn't work today, that's ok, just try again tomorrow.

Most importantly, remember to breath. Take one step at a time.

We've already seen what happens when everyone is trying to log onto the education portal at the same time.

Start with the rocks, the things that have to be done, and build from there.

You've got this!


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