We would never have imagined that a small virus will invade the lives of people the world over so badly. As we are reading this, almost the whole of India is in lockdown. The Prime Minister in his appeal last week requested that the senior citizens and toddlers should especially stay at home. He also asked that even the others should step out only if it is essential, as most employers were asked to provide work from home or even leave with pay, where it is not possible. There was also a request that the less privileged like our helpers also be given off with pay so that they and their families stay safe as well.
These are extraordinary times that India is going through, and few states are in a complete lockdown situation with only essential services being made available. Section 144 has been issued in a few places as well, and all this is being done in the interest of stopping the virus from spreading, and as responsible citizens, we need to heed the government’s advice. But being in a lockdown like this can cause issues, both physical and psychological. Here is what you can do to keep yourself engaged and fit.
Don’t break your patterns
Except for those things that involved stepping out or meeting people, please do not break your daily routines. Continue to get up at the same time, and if you used to have a walk, perhaps, you can do that on your balcony or terrace, or try some simple Yoga and breathing exercises instead. Many channels are playing or streaming morning round of exercises like aerobics, and you could pick one and go along with that. Like this, if you have a time set for lunch, afternoon nap, evening TV shows, and so on, please follow it. Following the pattern will provide a semblance of normalcy to the day, even when you know that you are not to step out.
With family members working and spending a lot of time in commute, the family time had almost fully gone out of Indian households. Now suddenly, we find that we can all sit with a cup of morning or evening tea or coffee and chat with each other. Perhaps, this is the best time to discover the relationships back, and also create new ones. Call up all those close or even extended family members, something which we usually keep pushing till we have some reason to talk to them.
The grandkids are having holidays, and so are their daycare centers! This is a nightmare for parents, especially for those who are working from home. More so, if cooks and maids are not around, and people of the house, need to do the odd chores as well. It would be best if grandparents can take on the babysitting role, and engage the kids in activities, storytelling, or watch some movies together, etc.
Many activities can be planned, and you can get as creative as you like; play music, have an antakshari, paint, stitch, play cards or board games, and more. This may keep the kids as well as your mind engaged, and their parents can feel relieved, and work from home peacefully. Teach kids the importance of ME time and ask them to responsibly spend time on their own, so that you can rest awhile if required as well. Ask them to observe the world around them, or have them read something and narrate it to you later.
You could even engage them in household activities like cooking, cleaning, dishwashing, etc. This would go a long way in making the household run smoothly at such a time and also make them responsible. It is important not to allow them to get addicted to the devices so that we can work or rest in peace.
Walk the Talk
Containing the kids and others in the house at a time like this is rather difficult. Be responsible and explain things, especially to the little ones, if required through some innovative storytelling, why this is important. Why we need to stay home, and wash hands often, and not go out or play with other kids, or have them over, etc. Also, kids watch what you do, so please make sure that you set a good example by not stepping out. Unless essential, please avoid visiting the doc or the hospitals, too, as the healthcare workers are already overworked. Stay safe, practice good hygiene, follow quarantine, and stay at home, and we will tide these tough times together.