What Do We Do Now? Keep Calm and Stay at Home
Right now, everything is strange. The global coronavirus pandemic has substantially changed the way all of us are living our lives. Schools are closed. Businesses are severely limited. Many of our neighbors are grappling with how they are going to pay for life’s necessities if they don’t have a job or hours to work.
All of this change, these invasions into our everyday practices, occurred at a seemingly breakneck pace. So now, everything feels upended. Personally, I’ve had instances where I feel so incredibly overwhelmed that parts of my brain seem to shut down. My short-term memory, while not stellar before, has become worse than ever.
So, what do we do? We try to adapt. We work our way, over time, into a new sense of normal, even if it is temporary. I’ve started writing down EVERYTHING. My to-do lists probably look ridiculous to most, but it’s helping me feel grounded and finding a bit of control again.
As a community, we’ll find ways to make it work, even in the time of social distancing, we’ll get through this together. Of course, it won’t always be pretty, but for the greater good of our neighbors, it’s the only choice we have.
Here are some things to keep in mind as we transition to staying at home:
Online resources for kids
As of the time that I’m writing this article, the State of Oregon is stating an estimated return to school date of April 28th. Based on the projections from other states, the closures could be extended. Most parents don’t want their kids to miss out on their education, and online resources are the way to go.
Beaverton School District has several online learning resources in addition to class-specific assignments. BSD also has locations with Grab-and-Go Lunches, in addition to computers you can borrow.
Portland Moms Blog also has guides to help local families during this time. Check out “Navigating Quarantine in and Around PDX” and “The Stuck Inside Survival Guide” to find resources that will keep the kids entertained and learning.
Please keep in mind, fellow parents, it’s perfectly acceptable to have some days where everyone ends up on a screen, and there isn’t a whole lot of academic learning going on. It’s bound to happen, and that’s okay. Let’s go ahead and set our own expectations a little lower because most of us are not trained educators. We’re navigating a very different approach than we expected. Making sure your kids are safe and you are taking care of yourself is the first priority.
Find creative alternatives
While you can’t enjoy a night out for a meal, you can take it to go. Many local restaurants are still able to make food for curbside pickup or through meal delivery services.
The Beaverton Farmer’s Market is even trying something new with a drive-thru market!
Get as much sunshine in your life as you can
For now, there aren’t restrictions on walking in your neighborhood, just make sure you maintain your 6-foot distance from others.
Getting outside is good for all of us. It makes us feel better to get some of our cooped-up energy out. Backyards and open spaces are beautiful things. In addition, try keeping the blinds open to get as much natural sunlight in your home as possible
Keep exercising (within reason)
It’s good to stay active, when you can. While you don’t want it to be “another thing to add to the to-do list”, getting some exercise in can help fight stress and works as a fantastic mental re-charge. Although the gyms are closed, there are tons of free exercising programs online to keep you motivated.
The YMCA has classes you can stream for free. Many other popular brands are extending their free trial periods.
Check out your favorite gym’s Instagram or Facebook. Many spots around Beaverton are posting free content or are offering virtual classes/packages.
Check-in with each other.
Text, Facetime, or (go old-school) call the people in your life that you’re concerned about. See how they’re doing. Stay connected. Without those human connections, it’s really easy to feel isolated and lonely.
Pay particular attention to your friends and neighbors without family at home. You never know how much a simple act of kindness means to someone in these stressful times.
Katie Carrick lives in Beaverton with her husband, two young children, and their yappy but loveable dog, Mendel. She’s a former clinical scientist who now works as a freelance writer. For more information visit mkcontentcreation.com.