When we first found our cozy apartment in Barcelona, I never thought it would one day turn into a quarantine headquarters.
“I mean, how much time will we really be spending in the apartment anyway?” we first asked ourselves when moving to Spain.
“Sure, it’s a little tight – but it’ll be fun!” we laughed to one another.
Yet, here we are in the middle of the global pandemic called Coronavirus. Day 10 inside this little fifth-floor apartment with three young active kids.
Day ten and counting…
The irony sure isn’t lost on me!
And I know, I shouldn’t complain. There are plenty of people in far worse conditions than we are at the moment.
People mourning the loss of a loved one. Those laying in hospital beds questioning their fate. Some quarantined at home completely alone. Others working around the clock because it’s their professional duty.
Still, I can’t help but feel stir crazy at times!
Anyone else with me? We’ve pulled out every coloring book and activity pad we have. We’ve baked, painted, danced, read, exercised and cleaned. And then we’ve done it all over again.
Today the Spanish government issued a warning that “the worst is yet to come”, which means the end is too far to even see. So basically, now is not the time for a pity party!
My readers come from all over the globe (47 countries to be exact) and for the first time, guys, I can honestly say WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER!
I feel what you feel. I’m frustrated by the same things you are. My fears are right in line with yours. It’s a time of uncertainty and instability…for us all.
But if we choose to focus on these negative emotions, we’ll be putting that same energy into the world. Onto our kids and spouses.
Lord knows we have enough of that on TV right now.
So, let’s lift each other up and find the silver linings. Here are some things I’ve done to keep myself positive and going. To keep my kids happy and growing, despite our current circumstances.
Sending my biggest hugs to you all from Barcelona. Wherever you are in the world, you are on my mind and in my heart.
20 Ways to Battle Quarantine Woes
For Yourself Personally
1. Set Wake Times – Routine is so key during a time like this! If we can stay disciplined to the same structure that everyday life use to bring, we’ll be in a better mindset to tackle the day’s challenges.
2. Practice Good Hygiene – Listen, I love hanging around in my Zara Home robe or sweats as much as the next person. But getting yourself ready in the morning and putting in the same effort as if you were headed out the door is recommended! Once again, that whole routine thing.
3. Schedule Meals/Snacks – Being stuck indoors for countless days makes eating healthy super tough! I find myself wandering to the snack closet, simply because I’m bored! Stick to a regular eating schedule and make healthy choices so you don’t pack on the pounds during quarantine.
4. Open Windows – It’s amazing what a breeze of fresh air can bring to your home. With so many germs floating around this time of year, opening the windows will help your home to feel fresher and even smell better!
5. Use Stairwells for Exercise – As mentioned, we live in an apartment and Spanish law currently prohibits our kids from going outdoors. So what that means is utilizing the indoor space we have such as hallways and stairwells for staying active.
6. Choose Music Over Televisión – Back to that whole movement thing. When the TV is on, it encourages sitting down. When music is turned up, it does the opposite! Get up and dance, sing – do whatever you like but keep the beats bumpin! It’s also a great mood enhancer to fill your home with music.
7. Start a New Project You’ve Wanted To – Remember that chicken recipe you’ve always wanted to try? What about painting that hutch in the dining room? Or maybe just organizing your sock drawer? Either way, we all have things we’ve been putting off for a rainy day. Well friends, that rainy day has come! There’s no better time than now to tackle the things you’ve always wanted to.
Related Post: 10 Things I’m Finally Doing While Stuck at Home
8. Rearrange Furniture – Sure it sounds funny but after being stuck at home for weeks at a time, changing around the look of a room can offer a fresh energy to your home. No one says you have to keep it that way if you don’t want!
9. Organize Closets/Cabinets/Shelves – It’s never too early to start Spring cleaning. Go ahead and clean out your kitchen cabinets, coat closets, playroom toys and living room shelves. Not only will it feel rewarding but your home will look cleaner too!
10. Call Family & Friends – Notice I didn’t say “text”. In the last week and a half, our family has spoken love to friends and family that we typically just text to say hi. Now that we’re all home and with lots of free time, we’re making more of an effort to get in touch and see one another’s faces. It’s been special and fun!
For Your Children
1. Open Doors & Windows – I think you got the point about this one! Rain or shine, let the “stale” inside your home OUT by inviting the fresh air in.
2. Set Up Creativity Areas in Each Room – I did this last Friday as a reward for the kids after a long first week of homeschooling. They loved jumping from one room to the next – dance room, craft table, construction/LEGO station, beauty/makeup area. What fun thus was!
3. Build Furniture & Pillow Forts – Bring the classic activities back that kids for generations have loved! Nothing beats a sick pillow fort fully equipped with chairs, blankets, pillows, snacks and flashlights.
4. Family Workouts on You Tube – there are loadssss of great video resources on You Tube for the whole family to stay active. Personally we love Just Dance, Zumba Kids and POPSUGAR Fitness.
5. Use Recycled Materials for Crafts – One thing I failed to stock up on before being quarantined was craft supplies – paper, markers, crayons, glue. Ugh! So what did we do? Take bottles and boxes from around the house to create homemade birdhouses. It was a blast!
6. Have a Puzzle Marathon – Total parenting win here as puzzles don’t just offer mental concentration and stimulation but also creativity and patience. Try to dedicate 30 minutes each day to building puzzles together.
7. Cooking/Baking Lessons – Kids love helping out in the kitchen and what better time than now to turn your little ones into chefs! Grab aprons, find an easy recipe on Pinterest and dive in. Don’t forget to wash hands before starting!)
8. Turn Chores Into a Competition – No one loves doing chore but they’ll be even more important now at home with all family members stuck inside! So make it a team effort and keep it fun by turning it into a friendly competition. Who can clean the windows fastest? How many pieces of furniture can you dust in under two minutes? Just some ideas!
9. Kids Yoga on You Tube – Similar to family workout videos, but treated as a separate item for a good reason. When your kids reach that time of day known as “witching hour”, they’re tired, hungry and cranky – a dangerous combination! Yoga helps with concentration, calming and emotional regulation. Our favorite is Cosmic Kids Yoga with Jamie.
10. Make an Apartment Obstacle Course – Living in an apartment with no backyard for the kids to play in, these obstacle courses are a big hit! Get creative with balls, benches, tunnels, pillows – whatever you can muster up and take turns beating your best time.
For other fantastic ideas for keeping little ones happy and entertained during this time, check out Parenting4Ever’s amazing recent article Indoor Activities for Babies and Toddlers.
I was thrilled to be a contributing blogger for this piece which is overflowing with creative activities.
Have other ideas for passing the time and keeping your family sane during these long days in quarantine?
Love to hear from you by commenting below!