Support to Help You and Your Little Ones While Social Distancing

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These are unprecedented times, friends.  (So unprecedented that I’m getting sick of the word!)  So, if you’re feeling anxious, stressed, unsure, lonely or scared right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic….it’s completely justified.  


I want to support you through this, so as a start, I’ve compiled a list of resources and options to help you stay sane and manage it all.  This is a long post, so hang in there. I promise it’s very skimmable and most suggestions are free and available to everyone.  


You’ll find 4 sections worth scrolling through:  

  1. How I can support you

  2. At-Home Self-Care You Can Do While Social Distancing

  3. Talking to Your Kids About Coronavirus

  4. Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy, Happy & Growing While Social Distancing


Take what works for you and leave the rest.  And by all means, if you’ve come up with a clever survival tactic that is working for you and your family, please post it in the comments!


Hang in there, mommas and poppas.  You’re doing great. And please reach out if you need extra support.


How I Can Support You

I want you to know that I’m making adjustments in how I serve you, according to CDC recommendations.  Here’s what I’m doing now to help us all get through this pandemic.


In-Person Social Distancing

Though this is subject to change, for now, I’m continuing to meet with clients in-person as needed. However, I’m doing this with caution and care.  My office is set up to accommodate the recommended 6 feet of separation between us, and I’m disinfecting my office as much as humanly possible.


Telehealth Sessions

This is the safest and most effective method for us to meet.  This allows us to continue our work together from the safety of our own homes. You might be wondering, “What is Telehealth?”  Telehealth allows us to work together remotely via confidential video conference.  It is HIPAA compliant, secure and super easy to use. All you need is a computer/phone/tablet and an internet connection.  I also strongly recommend you doing our session from a quiet room with a door you can close and/or using earbuds during our session.  This is for both privacy reasons as well as ensuring good sound quality. (But of course, we can’t halt life from happening around us…ambient noise from babies and kids is perfectly fine!)⠀⠀⠀⠀


Phone Sessions

For some clients, a regular phone call is preferable to Telehealth video conferencing.  In those cases, I’m happy to accommodate that request.⠀⠀⠀


Happy With Baby Community on Facebook

This group is free and open to all parents.  You don’t have to be local to Sacramento, and you don’t have to be one of my clients to join.  This is a space for parents to connect and support each other. I’m also very active in the group myself, posting helpful tips, support and conversation-starters.  Just yesterday, I posted a short meditation video you can do anytime you need a break.  Join us and give it a try!


Free Online Support Group

Normally, I facilitate an in-person monthly Meetup group for parents of all ages and stages.  Obviously, given CDC guidelines, we won’t be meeting in person for the foreseeable future.  So, I’m hard at work figuring out a way we can meet online, so you can still get that consistent support for free.  If this is something you’re interested in, send us a quick message letting us know and I’ll make sure you’re the first to get the details on how to join.



At-Home Self-Care You Can Do While Social Distancing

  • Free workouts on YouTube (Fitness Marshall, Carling Nicole, others?), Prime Video, etc.  Lots of fitness trainers on Instagram are also posting free 30-day challenges you can do at home.  Who are your favorites?

  • Those projects you’ve been putting off around the house

  • Re-organize something, even if it’s just a small project like one cabinet or your desktop.  It’s amazing how this simple action can give your mind peace and clarity.

  • Doodle, get crafty, make something - Art is therapeutic!

  • If being in the kitchen is fun for you, try baking a new recipe.  If being in the kitchen is just more stress, simplify your meal plans - I personally love emails for simplifying my time in the kitchen and did a review of it a while back, so check it out here.  The best part about it is it will make a grocery list based on the meal plans you choose and then send it to Instacart, so it’s ready to go.

  • Marco Polo, Skype, FaceTime with your friends - I find Marco Polo app to be especially great for busy parents because the person on the receiving end doesn’t have to be live on the call with you.  You just record your message to them and they view it when they have a free minute to watch. Then they respond to you, and you watch and respond when you have a free minute. So much better than playing phone tag!

  • Start that new hobby you always said you wanted to try - learn a new language, read a book, learn to crochet

  • Make your showers/baths as indulgent as possible - if you and your family are all getting on each other’s nerves, this might be your best bet for some alone time!  Plus, this article suggests that we should be showering daily just in case, so it seems like a good enough excuse for a mini escape to me.

  • Take walks outside (weather permitting). Even 10 minutes outside provides lots of benefits.

  • Turn off the news and social media. Or at least set limits for yourself.  Notice how you feel as you’re checking them (or immediately afterward). If you feel more stressed or drained or sad, let this motivate you to set limits.

  • Listen to a podcast (that isn’t news!) - Modern Love and Levar Burton Reads are great for a little mental escape.  Which podcasts are you enjoying lately?

  • Listen to an audiobook - I saw that Libro.fm (an audiobook subscription service) is offering two audio books right now for the price of one and 100% of your payment goes to your local bookstore.  Use code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW. (I am not affiliated with Libro.fm in any way and they aren’t paying me to say this.  I just happened to come across this deal and loved how it supports local business.). Or check your local library’s website to see if they offer audiobook or ebook downloads.

  • Watch your favorite comfort movies.  Buzzfeed did a great list of suggestions.  What would you add to it?

  • Join this free virtual 20-minute dance party, happening daily at 2pm Eastern on IGTV.

  • I always say this, but it bears repeating:  Let yourself off the hook for something. You’ll find a lot of posts on social media proclaiming this is a great time to write that book you’ve always dreamed of writing, to clean out your closets, or to keep your kids to a tight academic schedule while they’re home.  I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to do it that way.

These are really trying times for all of us, and for some of us, it can really trigger our fears, anxieties and trauma. So, if you’re only focusing on surviving, that is OK. That is all you really need to do. You’re doing great, momma.


Talking to Your Kids About Coronavirus

Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy, Happy & Growing While Social Distancing


At-Home Learning with these helpful links:

Reading:

Scholastic Learn At Home

Oxford Owl

Storyline Online

PBS Kids

Readworks

Starfall

Newsela

Squiggle Park

NatGeo Kids

Smithsonian Institute for Kids

Abcya!

Storynory

Highlights for Kids

Khan Academy

Funbrain

Math:

Math Playground

PBS Kids

Hooda Math

Multiplication.com

Oxford Owl

Education.com

Khan Academy

Cool Math Games

Starfall

Abcya!

Funbrain

Prodigy Games

Splash Learn

Math Game Time

Science & Social Studies:

Crash Course

NatGeo Kids

Who Was? Adventure app

Google Earth

Time Magazine for Kids

Smithsonian Institute for Kids

Discovery Mindblown

Nasa Kids Club

Amazing Space

Learn to code with Code.com

How Stuff Works

Other:

Ted Talks to Watch with Kids

Learn a language for free with Duolingo (phone app and website)

Arts & crafts activities on HelloKids.com



Fun, Engaging Activities Your Kids Can Do From Home:

This post has 40+ ideas for ways you can keep your toddler busy while stuck indoors.  

Ideas from @theconsciouskid on Instagram: 

  • Have each kid pick a topic they'd like to learn about and spend 30 mins each day on that topic

  • Spend one day reading every single picture book we have in the house

  • Go through all the old mail laying around (ok, that one's not for kids although they do enjoy helping tear stuff up)

  • Bake something every day

  • Have each kid write a letter and/or emails to a different friend or family member each day

  • Use all of your building toys on one giant structure

  • Races of various kinds in the backyard (hopping on one foot, crabwalk, walking backwards, etc.)

  • Try stop motion animation with playdough. You can use a free app to do this: Stop Motion Studio

  • Facetime grandparents a lot

  • Write a short story & illustrate it.

  • Learn how to do simple book binding

  • Make tents and reading caves : ) flashlights, tidy snacks, books, and pillows!

  • Have a shadow show in the reading tent (we used blankets over chairs or a table)

  • Dance-along videos on YouTube

  • Listen to kid podcasts (such as Story Pirates or Smash Boom Best)

Other ideas I’ve come up with: 

  • Do flashcards with your kids (language vocabulary, math skills, etc)

  • Teach your kids to fold laundry, make their bed, tie their shoes or do some other household chore that they haven’t mastered yet.

  • Sketch the characters of the TV show they’re watching

  • Have them help you shred documents in a paper shredder (with supervision for safety reasons, of course!)

  • Make a dollhouse or a turtle shell costume (the possibilities are endless!) out of all those Amazon boxes you’re probably getting shipped to you right now

  • Extra long baths with bubbles, bath bombs, bathtub paints, squirt toys, popsicles, or other fun things

  • Put a bean in a ziploc baggie with a wet paper towel and tape to a sunny window.  Watch the bean grow roots and sprout over the course of the school closure.

  • Make a bird feeder out of a milk carton.  Decorate with colored duct tapes or stickers and make a twine hanger.  Hang from a tree or a sticky hook on a window and watch birds come visit.


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  • Find some rocks while out on a walk and paint happy faces or positive messages on them.  Then on your next walk, leave them in random places for others to find.

  • You or your child can read a bedtime story on Facebook Live or YouTube to support other families online.

  • Doodle with children’s book author Mo Willems online or paint happy little trees with Bob Ross on Netflix.

  • Burn off some energy doing one of these online exercise and yoga classes made just for kids.


    What would you add to this list? What’s helping you make it through?


RELATED LINKS

Moms Come First

Parents, Look For Signs You’re Succeeding

How to Parent When Your Heart is Broken

 

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