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Physical Distance, Not Social Distancing

The phrase that we have been hearing related to keeping everyone safe is "Social Distancing."

We prefer the phrase "Physical Distancing," as we believe that being social is more important now than ever.

As a community, we must continue to be available for each other, even while maintaining a safe distance. We encourage everyone to maintain contact through social media, phone, and video chat software. While we are home from work and school, it is important to maintain a routine. Wake up and do a workout. Have a healthy breakfast, and get dressed as you would on a regular day. You can keep it casual. I don’t think the office manager will mind if you skip the heals and ties.

It is important to regularly check-in with yourself to make sure you are holding up alright. If you are struggling, reach out to a trusted friend to talk. It is also a good idea to check in on others. You don't need an excuse to call someone to say, "hi."

There are plenty of things you can do to avoid going stir crazy.

First and foremost, take a break from the news. The constant influx of news is going to be a source of high tension and anxiety. Remember that most news channels are not news channels. They are entertainment channels that pose as news. It is more about infotainment. They are more interested in ratings than reporting the truth. Be aware of from where you get your news. Better yet, turn the news off for a while.

Now that we have turned off the television, we can get down to the important stuff.

Staying home does not mean you can't exercise

Even if we are staying home, it is crucial to have a routine. While most people do not have advanced gym equipment at home, many have some sort of machine. Take the laundry off of the treadmill or exercise bike and get yourself on it first thing in the morning. Start your day by getting your blood pumping. It will set the tone for the whole day.

Even if you don't have any equipment or weights at home, there is still plenty you can do. You can get a great workout with pushups, sit-ups, burpees, and even running in place. Not being able to go to work or school doesn't mean you can't get out of the house. Go for a jog or a run around the neighborhood. Even a brisk walk is good. Get fresh air into your lungs. It will do a whole world of good.

Being home is also a great time to get your kids into an exercise routine. Let them know that even though they do not have to wake up to rush to school, they still have to get up at a decent time. None of this sleeping until noon stuff. Remember the Wii U? Do you have Wii Fit U? Well, break it out, put fresh batteries in the pad create a routine. Using this sort of video game is a great way to get your kids engaged in exercise while having fun.

Game Night!

Nothing brings families together more than game night. Teach your kids the classics like Monopoly, Life, and Clue! Coming together as a family around the table, playing games keeps the mood light, and it keeps everyone smiling. Family video game night is just as good, as long as the entire family can take part and have fun. The goal is to enjoy this time as a family.

Quiet time

Have certain designating times of quiet. During the day, you will still have to work, even if it is from home. The kids also need to do their lessons online and have to keep up with schoolwork and reading. By designating specific quiet time, mom and dad can get their work done, and the kids can get their homework done without significant distractions.

There should be a quiet time, even on the weekends. While everyone is home, it is going to be easy to lose track of time and of what day it is. While there might not be any work or school on the weekends, you can still do things without making a lot of noise. When was the last time you read a book for pleasure? When was the last time your kids read a book without depending on technology? Break out that 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and work on that for a while. It might not be the most exciting part of the day, but they are fun and challenging, and they do keep the mind engaged.

Make cleaning a family event

Whether you go from room to room or everyone is responsible for their own space with the shared living spaces being everyone's responsibility, keeping your home clean and decluttered will go a long way to keeping everyone engaged. Clutter is a source of anxiety for a lot of people. Work together to keep the home clean and fresh.

Meditation Time

You can also use the quiet time for your time to practice your meditation techniques. Being in the house with the whole family without a break can be stressful, so you need to have time to work on keeping your stress and anxiety down and check-in with yourself.

While there might not be many places in the house where you can get away, find a place that can be used by anyone in the house who needs to get away from a little while. Whether it is a spare room, or simply a corner of a room, set up a place anyone can go to for some alone time. Set up a sign or a signal to let others know that you do not want to be disturbed.

At the same time, make sure no one is isolating themselves for too long. Extended isolation can be a sign of anxiety or depression setting in. Be available for your family members. Do not push or pry, but if someone is showing signs of starting to withdraw, keep an eye on them and try to keep them engaged.

Check-in on friends and family

We spend so much time on social media that sometimes we forget just to pick up the phone and talk to people directly. Call family and friends on the phone. Use the video chat features of WhatsApp or Facetime or Skype. Keep in touch with people, especially those that may be home alone for an extended period. If you have older relatives, you might not want to visit them as a precaution, but you can still keep in touch.

Maintain a routine

We mentioned keeping a routine in the morning. It is essential to keep some sort of routine going throughout the day. A routine is a great way to keep from wondering how you are going to spend the time. You don't have to schedule every minute of every day. You also don't have to do everything in the first week. As we get further into this period of physical distancing, we are going to need more of a routine to follow.

We are in unprecedented territory that we have to face right now. If we don't take care of each other, being in such close quarters can be very stressful. By keeping busy with productive activities like school, work, and exercise, we will be able to get through this while still being productive. Staying active and maintaining a positive outlook also helps when you can have quality family time. Take care of yourself and take care of each other.

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