Working from Home
Working from home has become and will be the new normal in this ever shaping landscape that is the Corona Virus's effect on this country. The key is keeping you healthy and thriving both physically and mentally while at home. First let us discuss the absolute hurricane that is both parents working from home with multiple youngsters that are in school so you and your spouse have to be an educator on top of everything else. What comes to mind first is GOOD LUCK. Saying this is extremely hard and stressful is an extreme under statement. You and your significant other's mental health is of the utmost importance here. Obviously take some time to read my blog on stress (its like reading Mark Twain), figure out your triggers at home, change your cues, and develop a breathwork practice. As a couple you are trying to do your best through this storm and your doing incredible (even if you tried killing each other and your kids 3 or 4 times). As with adults kids do very well with schedules. Get a big poster board or whatever draw up the kid's schedule and put it in a prime visual location. On top of that have a schedule with your partner: who is doing what teaching and caretaker wise and when. It will save you a lot of arguments. Then have your own personal schedule so you can be as efficient and productive as possible. One thing I would suggest is getting up a little earlier than everyone else and really crushing work, probably be the only part of the day when it is quiet and you are truly alone to concentrate on work. Develop an "office" of sorts where it is a designated work area in your house where the kids (and your needy spouse) know not to bother you there and the focus is on work. You and your spouse take shifts in the office, all part of the scheduling between you two. Just make sure the office isn't next to the princess castle might not be the best place for a working environment. Having the designated office area will help you separate work/teacher/caregiver responsibilities. When your in the office BE in the office, the focus is work, DO work. It is the same for everything: if from 8-10 am you're the teacher BE the teacher. Focusing on your kids education is something I think we can all agree is a tad important. If you start blurring the lines, your life is going to become even more chaotic than it already is. You will be inefficient at both caregiver and work and your stress will accelerate exponentially. If you have an "office" then your child or children should have a "classroom." No matter where the classroom is located (again I would stay away from the doll house too distracting) the kid or kids know that is where work is done. It will prime them to be successful. Talking with other parents there seems to be a real snack problem out there. The kids eating schedule should remain the same as if they were back in the physical school building. This means no random snacking due to boredom. If you want to have a designated snack time that's fine but the cafeteria isn't open 24/7. Do not let being an educator give you insane anxiety because you are worried your kids are falling behind, EVERYONE is in the same boat and all you have to do is try your best and provide love and compassion to your kids. They will feel the vibration your giving off and get anxiety too or hate school because Mommy or Daddy is always complaining about it. Is it a little late in the school year for this? Sure, but the there is a strong possibility that camps will be cancelled this summer and yea another lockdown in the fall is more likely than I think anyone wants to admit. "School" might not be as intense in the summer but we personally will be keeping them on a schedule and still be doing school work to help everyone stay sane. If camps are cancelled for the summer it will still be vital that you keep a schedule and have activities for the young ones or your house will literally be chaos. A healthy sane mind is the most important thing during this time. Once you have a schedule and things are going great (relatively speaking) you can focus your attention on how to optimize your physical health while at home. SITTING IS HORRIBLE, set a timer every 45 minutes and move around for a minute or two, DO IT. Countless research shows the perils of sitting and starring at a screen for hours on end. I know you get locked in the zone and don't even realize how much time has gone by, that is why you set the alarm. Just move around for a minute or two. There is some good research out of Japan on how just a little bit of solid movement combats the negatives of sitting for prolonged periods. Alarm goes off walk around your house, 10 air squats, push ups, whatever works for you. If you have a kettlebell awesome to get 10 swings in every time the alarm goes off. GO OUTSIDE, the sun is incredible, get an hour of sunlight a day. 100's of positive reactions happen in your body because of sunlight, soak it in while your home. I just read The Align Method by Aaron Alexander (not a great book but pretty good) and there is a section on the book about vision. It discusses how staring at a screen triggers a stress response because your eyes are focusing intently on a small tunneled object much like if a predator was after you your body would have tunnel vision for said predator. So when you are outside and you have pretty scenery take advantage of it. Relax your eyes and look off in the distance as this will trigger your calming rest and digest response, and reenergize you for work and teaching. Another thing stressed in the book is the ability and importance of sitting and getting up and down off the ground. If you have little ones this is easy just get on the floor and play with them. You will be greasing all those joints and pushing fluid around so you don't get stiff and knotted up. The Midas Touch to help with sitting all day and not moving is of course Foundation Training which attacks your posterior chain through isometric movements getting all the right muscles firing together. I have found nothing better to combat back pain, help with posture, and assist with taking deeper more efficient breaths. I conduct Zoom personal training and have small social distancing sessions outside in the open for Foundation Training. Shoot me an email if interested in a Foundo Sesh or if you want help scheduling out your day to help keep you sane, happy, and healthy. You are doing awesome keep it up. Most importantly always remember when your playing with your kids floor's lava.