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Tips for Parents During COVID-19

Crafted by BGCHarlem Director of Social & Emotional Learning, La Shell Wooten

Tips for Parents During COVID-19

1. Set at least one daily goal: Call a friend, clean out a dresser drawer, dance with your children, etc. Set an achievable goal creates a routine where there is no routine.

2. Find an enjoyable element in your day: Eat something delicious, watch a comedy show or movie, take a bath, go for a walk on a sunny day. Try to do different enjoyable things each day to keep things fresh in your daily routine.

3. Do a wellness check on yourself and your children. Count your breaths slowly from one to twenty. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and focus your thoughts on something beautiful - flowers, a beach, your friends laugh and sunrise. Sit on the floor and stretch your hands toward your toes, then lay your back to the floor and stretch your toes and fingers in the opposite direction.

4. Limit how much you watch the news. If possible, only allow yourself to watch one news program per day to get updates on what matters in your life. Also, turn off notifications and check the alerts once a day.

5. Turn your anxiety into service. When you are feeling anxiety, do something to help someone else. Call a friend who may be away from their family and chat with them for a while. Ask a neighbor or elder in your community if they need someone to go to the store for them. Make an extra helping of your lunch to offer to a neighbor who may be short on food.

6. Go to YouTube University. Access YouTube from your phone, tablet or computer. Use YouTube to watched guided videos of all kinds. Follow simple instructions on everything from how to organize your refrigerator to 3-minute meditation to how to make a candle out of bits of soap.

7. Go to brunch, happy hour, or a birthday party virtually. Use FaceTime, Zoom, WhatsApp, or even Facebook Messenger to celebrate, share a meal, or talk face-to-face with your besties. Remember, you can also set up a get-together for your children and their school pals.

8. Play board games and card games. Video games are fun but playing actual board or card games is a good way to bring everyone in the house together and lift everyone’s spirits. Don’t worry if you don’t have board games or Uno cards. Here are nine games you can play as a family with only a pen and paper. Click here for a list of fun boardless, cardless games!

9. Shut Your...Eyes! Even if you are home all day, try to create a sleep routine. Sleeping six to eight hours at night will help to restore your body’s organs, decrease stress, regulate your mood, improve your concentration and decision-making skills. Take one nap midday, if you’d like but try to avoid sleeping the day away. Sweet dreams!

10. Walk it out. Although gyms are closed, your living room and neighbor are open.  Go for a walk, a run or bike ride in your community. Of course, keep a safe distance from others (about six feet). And take your favorite workout classes for FREE! Thousands of gyms and fitness instructors are leading us in exercise every day. Look up #workout or #exercise #fitness on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

11. Keep it clean on the dance floor. Cleaning our homes during this COVID experience is important so let’s make it fun. Grab your disinfecting wipes or cloths damp with rubbing alcohol or vinegar and turn on your two favorite songs; then dance around the house wiping down all surfaces, doorknobs, cabinet and window handles, remote controls and cellphones. Try to finish this task before the songs end.

12. No-technology Zones - Now more than ever, technology is a big part of our lives. But, we need time away from technology too. Create a space at home where there are no tv’s, computers, cellphones, microwaves, etc.  Put a candle, plant, pillow, soft blanket, eye covers, wind chime, etc. Get creative in this sanctuary space and spend at least 10 minutes a day there to zone out.

Follow BGCH social media channels for additional tips and daily updates. We would also love to hear your tips!

View our additional 'Resources For Students & Parents for Dealing with COVID-19 here.

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