What Quarantine Can’t Cancel

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March….that escalated quickly didn’t it? Normally, I would be putting together a fun list of local activities for you and the family to enjoy for the month of April.  However, it now appears that April has been canceled….ugh. Quarantine has deleted pretty much all of the events in our lives, but hopefully, there are some things that quarantine can’t cancel!

Honestly, who could have imagined this new reality of the “quarantine life” we are living right now would have been possible even a couple of weeks ago? I don’t know about you, but my emotions seem to run the gamut on a daily basis.  It is exhausting some days. 

As I am writing this, I am hearing that one state has announced their quarantine will be in effect until June 10th! I can’t even.  I have decided that instead of letting all of this get me down, I am going to help us all look for a little positivity!  So, I give you the “Things That Quarantine Can’t Cancel” list!  what quarantine can't cancel family enjoying each other

Family

To me, this is one of the most important things.  Being safe at home with my family is hard some days, but also a blessing.  With this forced time together, I hope that many of us will really see how important family time is–and how little of it we really have.  Though the days may seem long, truly the years we have with our kids are quite fleeting.  Let’s really try to soak this in and create closer bonds with those we hold most dear. Quarantine can’t cancel family time.

Break out those board games and have a game night.  Or do a pizza/movie night. Have art class family style-there are lots of great YouTube drawing tutorials. Pick a fun one and draw it together. Zoom or Skype with grandparents or cousins that you can’t go visit.  Or see if the kids can video chat with a friend for a while.  While it’s not the same as face-to-face, it’s better than nothing! 

What Quarantine Life Can't Cancel
Get outside!

Nature

Can you even imagine if we were dealing with this quarantine in, say, January?? A silver lining in this is that we have more daylight, warming temperatures and lovely signs of spring.  The grass is greener, buds are appearing on the trees and things are starting to pop out of the ground.  While parks are being closed, as for now anyway we are still able to hit a trail, a bike path or even just the sidewalk in our neighborhood. So get outside and get some fresh air and exercise–just make sure you keep the prescribed 6 ft between yourself and others you may meet along the way! Quarantine can’t cancel saying hi to them either!

Reading

If you are like me, you have a list (or stack!) of books you have been meaning to read when you “have the time”. Guess what–you have the time! So grab a book, have your kids grab a book and make some reading forts in the living room!  Have a reading hour-or longer if you want-every day.  Sometimes seeing a parent read can really help a reluctant reader!

Generosity

This flies in the face of what I’m sure will be the legendary “toilet paper hoarding” issue!  But really, we can still be generous with others. If you have the means, consider ordering take-out from one of our many local restaurants.  These locally owned establishments are trying to stay afloat through all of this and keep their employees working.  So order some great food to enjoy with your family–and make sure to tip them…generously!

If you find yourself with an excess of certain items, there are several local charities that would love to get them into the hands of someone less fortunate.  If you don’t have anything you can donate, monetary donations are always welcome-and in some ways easier-as they allow them to purchase the exact items needed to help their clients.  Samaritan’s Purse is setting up field hospitals for those affected by COVID-19, and quarantine can’t cancel your online donations.

Kindness

Not only should we be striving to be kind to our quarantine-mates, but also to those we deal with outside our home.  When you make a run to the store, be kind to your fellow shoppers. Be extra kind to the clerks at the store who have been working their tails off to restock shelves, all while knowing they are being exposed to the virus on a daily basis. 

Leave a note on your mailbox thanking the mail carrier or on your door for the person delivering those packages you ordered.  Check on elderly or shut-in neighbors while keeping your distance.  Place cut-out hearts or teddy bears in your windows for people walking by.  We have some hearts in our window and I love seeing little kids’ reactions when they see them while on a neighborhood walk.  If you know anyone who is working to keep this country running, thank them. Little things like these can mean so much to people!

Gratitude

Yes, even in the midst of a global pandemic we can find something to be grateful for. A great practice to get into with your kids would be to keep a journal.  I’ve seen ideas for kids to keep journals about their experiences during this time as a great keepsake. While that’s a great idea, I say take that one further.  Keep a gratitude journal as well. 

Making yourself find something to be thankful for every day can do wonders for our mental state.  This could be a fun family project too–take turns sharing something you are grateful for every day.  Have someone write down the answers in a notebook.  Or give every family member their own and take turns reading from them.  Bonus for doing it that way is more family-bonding time! So turn off the news for a while, and focus instead on gratitude. 

We are living through something that is new to all of us, and it doesn’t look like things will be back to normal any time soon.  Quarantine can’t cancel the best parts of life. Let’s try to make the best of it and use this time to really reconnect with our family, enjoy God’s beautiful creation, and teach our kids how to be our best selves, even in troubled times. 

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